Hyaluronic Acid Gel Injections
These are commonly known as visco-elastic, rooster-comb or gel injections. The theory behind them is that they can boost joint lubrication and reduce inflammation. In people with osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid, a substance thats naturally in joint synovial fluid, deteriorates. Hyaluronic acid is a major component of the netting and cushy bedding of cartilage known as extra-cellular matrix, Scott explained.
The drawback of gel injections when compared to steroid injections is that they may not provide as much pain relief, Scott said. But we believe gel injections are safer for the joint when it comes to repeated injections, and when people do have noticeable improvement in pain, the effect does last longer about six months, he added. Another drawback is cost. Some insurance companies dont pay for gel injections, leaving patients paying about $1,500 out of pocket.
Who Should Get Hyaluronic Injections
Hyaluronic acid injections are sometimes recommended for patients with diabetes who have knee osteoarthritis because hyaluronic acid injections do not raise blood sugar the way corticosteroids do. There is no evidence, however, that suggests that hyaluronic acid injections provide significant relief for knee pain, and they are not recommended for managing knee osteoarthritis under the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation guidelines.
What to expect:
- You may receive between one and five hyaluronic acid injections.
- If you have excess swelling and fluid buildup in your knee joint, your healthcare provider will use a needle to aspirate, or remove, the fluid before injecting the hyaluronic acid.
- You should avoid prolonged standing, walking, jogging, running, or heavy lifting for the first 48 hours after receiving a hyaluronic acid injection.
It may take up to four weeks to notice any significant improvement, and the effects can vary from two to six months. Hyaluronic acid injections may be repeated about once every six months.
Similar to corticosteroids, research examining the efficacy of hyaluronic injections has yielded mixed results, with some studies reporting significant pain relief and others reporting no effects or insignificant effects on pain.
- No major adverse events were associated with these injections
- Itcan cause a temporary increase in inflammation in the joint that was injected and has been linked to post-injection pseudgout flares.
Injections To Relieve Knee Pain
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis in the United States. It is caused by progressive degeneration of the cartilage in the knee joint, which protects bones in this area from rubbing against each other. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, treatments can help reduce pain and inflammation.
If oral medications do not help with your knee osteoarthritis pain, your healthcare provider may suggest injecting a medication directly into the knee joint. Knee injections used for arthritic pain include corticosteroid , hyaluronic acid , platelet-rich plasma, placental tissue matrix, Botox, and reverse injection .
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What To Expect After Corticosteroid Or Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Most people can return home or to work immediately after the injection takes place. The site of the injection may be swollen or tender for one or two days. Your doctor may recommend applying ice two or three times a day or taking an over-the-counter medication to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
It may take several weeks to see improvement after a hyaluronic acid injection. Our doctors recommend restricting high-impact activity, such as running, until symptoms improve.
A person may feel the pain relief effects of corticosteroid injections more quickly than those of hyaluronic acid, but the results may not last as long. But each person may respond differently to either of these injections.
What Is Viscosupplementation Treatment For Arthritis
During viscosupplementation treatment for arthritis, your healthcare provider injects hyaluronic acid into your joint. This thick fluid may help reduce pain and swelling in your arthritic joint .
The bones that make up your joints usually have a cap of cartilage on their ends. This cartilage helps make sure that your bones move smoothly against each other. This cartilage has a fluid coating that contains hyaluronic acid. This works like a lubricant and shock absorber in your joint.
In osteoarthritis , this cartilage cap breaks down. When this happens, the bones of your joint scrape together abnormally. People with osteoarthritis generally have less hyaluronic acid in their joints than they should. All of this causes symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling. The idea behind viscosupplementation is that replacing this hyaluronic acid may help reduce symptoms.
Your healthcare provider may first inject a numbing medicine into the space around your knee joint and possibly drain any fluid that is causing the joint to swell. Then, your healthcare provider will inject hyaluronic acid into the space inside your joint. You shouldnt expect this to reduce your pain right away. After the full course of treatment, though, you may notice some pain relief.
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Other Injections: Hyaluronic Acid Botox And More
Some people have used other types of injections for OA of the knee.
However, experts from the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation dont currently recommend using these, as theres not enough evidence that they work.
Examples of other types of injections include:
- hyaluronic acid injections, also known as viscosupplementation
You may not know exactly what type of injection youre receiving or what the effect might be.
Always discuss the pros and cons of any treatment with your doctor before starting, so that you can make an informed decision.
Other Immunomodulatory And Cytotoxic Agents
Some additional immunomodulatory drugs are used in RA including azathioprine , and cyclosporin A . Rarely cyclophosphamide and d-Penicillamine are used. Because the potential of high toxicity, these agents are typically utilized for life-threatening extra-articular manifestations of RA such as systemic vasculitis or with severe articular disease that is refractory to other therapy.
Azathioprine has some activity in rheumatoid arthritis but may take 8-12 weeks to see an effect. It is a purine analog that can cause bone marrow suppression and lowering of blood cell counts particularly in patients with renal insufficiency or when used concomitantly with allopurinol or ACE inhibitors. Increased risk of secondary malignancy due to azathioprine is controversial. Screening for levels of the enzyme thiopurine methyltransferase is recommended before initiating therapy with azathioprine. Certain individuals have deficiencies in this enzyme that metabolizes azathioprine with a concomitantly increased risk of toxicitiy for the medication. Side effects include nausea, and alopecia. Blood tests to monitor blood counts and liver function tests are necessary for patients on azathioprine.
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Final Word From Sportdoctorlondon About Injections For Hip Arthritis
Hip arthritis can be debilitating for most active people. Therefore, it is essential to try simple treatments first. We recommend at least three months of rehab before considering other interventions. Notwithstanding the general lack of evidence, we think a trial of either a hyaluronic acid injection or 1-2 PRP injections would be reasonable. You should speak to your doctor about these options.
What Role Do Steroid Injections Play In An Overall Treatment Plan
Depending on your case, your doctor may give you steroid injections along with pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or devices such as canes and braces.
For example, if you donât have any other health problems, a local steroid injection might be all you need for tendinitis. But if you have a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, injections will be only one part of your treatment plan.
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What Are The Different Types Of Arthritis Injections
Viscosupplement injections are given for moderate knee osteoarthritis , while steroid shots can benefit joints affected by different types of arthritis so the latter are far more common. Glucocorticoid injections work for most people and have fewer side effects than anti-inflammatory medicines,
How are knee injections used to treat arthritis?
Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the joints, eyes, and skin. HA levels decrease with age, leading to joint friction and arthritis. HA knee injections lubricate the joint, decrease friction, decrease impact, delay joint aging, reduce pain, and stiffness. HA is used in the treatment of the following:
What Happens Before Treatment
The doctor who will perform the procedure reviews your medical history and previous imaging studies to plan the best location for the injections. Be prepared to ask any questions you may have at this appointment.
Patients who take aspirin or a blood thinning medication may need to stop taking it several days before the procedure. Discuss any medications with your doctors, including the one who prescribed the medication and the doctor who will perform the injection.
The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient special procedure suite that has access to fluoroscopy. Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the office or outpatient center the day of the injection.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
There are many medicines that can affect the way hydrocortisone injections work.
It’s very important to check with your doctor or pharmacist that a medicine is safe to mix with hydrocortisone injections before you start having them.
This includes prescription medicines and ones that you buy like paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin. It also includes herbal remedies and supplements.
How Do I Prepare For Viscosupplementation Treatment For Arthritis
Talk to your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines, like aspirin. Take all of your medicines as normal, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.
The day of your procedure, you can eat and drink as you normally would. Tell your healthcare provider about any new symptoms, like fever. You may want to wear loose clothing so that you can easily expose your joint. Your healthcare provider might give you other instructions about what to do before your procedure.
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Side Effects Of Infusion Treatments
Infusions can cause mild reactions like:
- Pain, redness, or swelling of your skin where the needle goes in
Rarely, the reaction can be severe. If you have these symptoms, your doctor will stop the infusion and treat your symptoms.
Because biologic drugs weaken your immune system, they can increase your risk for infections like colds, the flu, or pneumonia. Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C before your treatment. You’ll need to take extra care after you have infusions to avoid getting sick.
Some of these drugs may raise your risk for certain cancers if you take them for a long time.
In rare cases, people who take tocilizumab get a hole in the wall of their intestine. Tell your doctor right away if you have belly pain or blood in your bowel movement while you take this drug.
How Was Treatment Given
Gold injections were injected into a muscle, usually the buttock, by a medical professional. Individuals needed to lie down during injection and wait for a few minutes before sitting up or standing to avoid lightheadedness.
The dosage depended on the persons medical condition, the severity of symptoms, and their response to treatment. Injections were given once a week until there was an improvement.
After that, they were given twice a month or less. If RA symptoms returned or worsened, then an individual went back to having the injections weekly.
Gold injection treatment needed to be used regularly for the best results. It could take up to 46 months before people saw significant results.
Due to the number and severity of side effects that they cause, doctors no longer use gold treatments to treat RA or other inflammatory conditions in the U.S. Doctors are prescribing other DMARDs instead, including methotrexate, which is considered safer.
Gold injections can cause side effects, including:
- increased joint pain at the start of treatment
cause side effects. These include raised levels of liver enzymes, which may cause long-term liver problems, oral ulcers, and gut symptoms. However, taking folic acid on a daily basis can help reduce these side effects.
Some people, especially pregnant people, should not take methotrexate. A person should always discuss the use of the drug with a doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits.
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Reverse Injection: Fluid Aspiration
Fluid aspiration from a joint, called arthrocentesis, is the process of inserting a needle into a joint to remove excess fluid. The knee is the most frequently aspirated joint.
Joint inflammation and swelling that occur due to osteoarthritis can produce excess synovial fluid within the knee, restricting movement and causing increased pain. Removing the fluid by aspirating the joint with a needle can help reduce pain and improve swelling.
- Your healthcare provider may use a local numbing agent, such as lidocaine, either topically around the knee or by injecting it within the knee joint.
- A needle is inserted into the knee joint at either side of the patella, and a syringe is used to pull fluid out of the knee.
- Fluid aspiration may be performed by itself or prior to receiving another type of injection, and generally takes 30 minutes or less to complete.
- The numbing agent will typically wear off after two to four hours. It is common to have some pain or soreness for one to two days after the procedure.
Pain relief from fluid aspiration can last for six months or more.
While arthrocentesis is often performed for diagnosis and prior to joint injection, it is not typically used on its own for therapeutic purposes, as it does not fix the underlying issue that caused the joint effusion .
Common Questions About Hydrocortisone
Hydrocortisone injections contain the active ingredient hydrocortisone. This is a steroid .
The injection releases the hydrocortisone slowly into the part of your body that is painful or swollen. Like other steroids, it works by calming down your immune system. This reduces inflammation and helps to relieve the pain and swelling.
A hydrocortisone injection usually takes a few days to start working although sometimes they work in just a few hours.
If your pain and swelling gets better after a single hydrocortisone injection, you may not need another one.
If you have a long-term problem and hydrocortisone injections work well, you may carry on having them.
Doctors usually recommend waiting at least 3 months before having another hydrocortisone injection in the same joint.
The injection can be a little uncomfortable, but many people say they’re not as bad as they thought they would be.
Hydrocortisone injections usually help with pain and swelling for around 2 months. They can also make movement easier.
If you have a short-term joint injury, an injection will often help you start to move again so that your body can heal itself.
For long-term joint pain, an injection should help for a few months, but you may need further injections.
Hydrocortisone injections can sometimes affect your immune system, so you’re more likely to catch infections such as flu, the common cold and chest infections.
Live vaccines include:
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Stem Cell Injections For Arthritis In Knees
Stem cell therapy is becoming more popular as an injection in arthritis. These stem cells can change to other cells and regenerate new tissue.
Usually, stem cells are derived from various sources, including fat, bone marrow, and fetal tissue. The process of taking and processing these cells can be difficult and expensive. So, is the hassle and cost worth it?
Generally, the answer is no. While some smaller low-level studies show promise, higher-level studies show no difference between stem cells and cheap sterile water. So overall, we dont recommend you waste your money on stem cells until further evidence becomes available of effectiveness.
Why Would I Get A Cortisone Shot Vs Take Corticosteroid Pills
Oral versions of corticosteroids are preferred to help control inflammation that affects multiple parts of your body, such as inflammatory forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis. Pills may also be recommended if an area is difficult to inject, such as the spine or hip, says rheumatologist Paul Sufka, MD, of Health Partners in St. Paul, Minnesota. However, oral forms of corticosteroids can come with significant side effects and risks, such as elevated blood sugar and blood pressure, eye problems such as glaucoma, and increased risk of osteoporosis and infection, among others.
Corticosteroid injections, or steroid shots, can provide higher doses of medication to treat a specific problem area. According to Michael Schaefer, MD, director of musculoskeletal physical medicine & rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic in an article on their site, steroid injections are used most commonly for knee and shoulder pain, but they can be used for any joint in the body.
There are many different kinds of injected corticosteroids. According to data from the American College of Rheumatology, the most commonly used ones include methylprednisolone acetate, triamcinolone acetate, and triamcinolone acetonide.
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What Are The Benefits Of Steroid Injections
Local steroid injections are less likely to cause serious side effects than other forms of steroid medications.
Steroid injections often ease inflammation in a joint so it can work better. They may keep you from needing to use oral steroids or higher doses of oral steroids, which could have stronger side effects.
Any Precautions After Getting Steroid Shots For Arthritis
Your doctor will likely recommend that you go easy on the affected joint for a few days after the steroid injection. If you got a shot in your knee, this means resting/elevating it when you can throughout the day. If you got a shot in your shoulder, you should avoid lifting heavy things. You should use ice on the area to help swelling go down, but not heat therapy. Here are more examples of how to use cold therapy for arthritis pain.
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