David W. Kruse, MD - Certified Sports Medicine Physician <Orthopaedic Specialty Institute
 
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Musculoskeletal Procedures

Intra-articular Injection

Intra-articular injections are recommended in treating various orthopaedic conditions including sports injuries and degenerative disease, arthritis. Steroid preparations are often used for intra-articular injections and they possess anti-inflammatory activity. Corticosteroid intra-articular injections are useful in treating knee arthritis associated with synovitis and effusion.

In intra-articular therapy the steroid is given directly into the affected joint. Thus it gives an opportunity to physicians give higher doses as required, localize the effect and also minimize the adverse effects on other organs. Sometimes infection at the injected site may occur. Thus extreme precautions are taken to maintain sterile procedures while giving the injection. Repeated intra-articular injection in a joint leads to cartilage damage. So injection in a particular joint are repeated only after few months of gap. Sometimes local anesthetics are also given with corticosteroids to improve pain management with a low dose of corticosteroid.

Image guidance tools such as ultrasound, fluoroscopy and radiopaque tracer are now being increasingly used to facilitate intra-articular injection in difficult to reach joints such as hip and shoulder joints. After intra-articular injection you should give rest to the joint for few days as reduced activity delays the absorption of the steroid from the joint and prevents its systemic effect.

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