Hip joint injections involve injecting medicine directly into the hip joint to diagnose the source of pain or treat pain due to conditions such as arthritis, injury or mechanical stress of the hip joint. Hip pain may be experienced in the hip, buttock, leg or low back. The injection contains a combination of a numbing medicine and cortisone (an anti-inflammatory agent). Numbing medicine delivers temporary relief from pain, provided the hip joint is the source of the pain. It thus serves a diagnostic function and helps to confirm or deny whether the joint is the source of pain. Cortisone serves to reduce the inflammation in the joint providing long term pain benefit.
During the procedure, the skin over the affected region is sterilized with an antiseptic solution, followed by topical application of a local anesthetic. Under ultrasound guidance, a fine needle is inserted into the joint and a local anesthetic mixed with cortisone is injected into the area of inflammation. The needle is then withdrawn and the injection site is covered with a sterile bandage. Ultrasound guidance helps in accurate placement of the needle. This treatment usually results in rapid pain relief.
Risk and complications
The possible risks of hip injections include: swelling and pain in the joint after the injection, infection, depigmentation of skin, local thinning of the skin and rupture of a tendon.
If the injected hip joint is the source of the pain, the pain may reduce two to five days after the injection. However, if no improvement is found within ten days after the injection further diagnostic tests may be required to ascertain the cause of pain.