What is the Process of Getting a Knee Injection for Arthritis?

Mar 8, 2019 | Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Treatments

Understand the Procedure for Experiencing Knee Pain Relief

Arthritis pain can restrict your activities, especially when it’s osteoarthritis in your knees. Losing mobility and movement because it simply hurts to walk around can be very discouraging. Since arthritis has no known cure, your solutions in the past have been either pain medication or total knee replacement. Thankfully, knee injection technology has dramatically increased in effectiveness and accessibility over the past 30 years.

A typical knee injection is an outpatient procedure completed in the comfort of a trained physician’s office. Injections like viscosupplementation can deliver up to 6 months of pain relief from knee pain caused by arthritis. The goal is to directly combat what causes the knee pain, whether reducing inflammation or increasing the fluid in your joint so bones don’t rub against each other.

The Knee Injection Process

1) Initial examination

Accurate diagnosis is the key to treating any disease. After a thorough history and examination, x-rays are used to confirm the diagnosis. Osteoarthritis presents as narrowing of the joint space or space between where two bones come together. There are different medicines and products used to treat osteoarthritis, and your doctor would help guide you to the treatment best suited for your condition.

2) Preparing the patient

Sterility with any injection is important, so the first step includes thoroughly cleaning the skin where the needle will be inserted into the knee. Next, a cold spray freezes the skin just prior to the physician inserting the needle, which numbs the skin to reduce discomfort. Typically, a local anesthetic is injected into the joint to reduce post-procedure discomfort.

3) Locating the joint space

This is the most important part of the process because a doctor can’t inject your knee just anywhere. The injection must go into the part of your knee with the arthritis, or you’ll never feel relief.

At Arthritis Relief & Vascular Centers, we use Hologic Digital Imaging – a low-dose x-ray – to precisely direct the needle exactly where it needs to go. Without this technology, there’s a 30+% chance a doctor will miss the part of your knee that most needs pain relief from arthritis.

4) The Injection

Once the needle has been inserted into the knee, a contrast dye confirms the correct placement by showing up on the x-ray. If the dye shows the needle was not in the right place, the physician can make small adjustments in the placement of the needle to ensure proper placement prior to injecting the medicine. Depending upon your knee specifically and the specialized treatment you receive, your knee might need to be drained of excess fluid before the medication is added.

5) Post-Injection Instructions

After the needle is removed, the doctor places a small bandage over the injection site. Patients are able to stand and walk immediately after the injection and can drive themselves home. For 24-48 hours, we recommend taking it easy with prolonged standing, walking, or heavy exercises. Normal daily activity is fine as long as it is nothing excessive. It can take a few days or even a few weeks for you to feel pain relief following the injection(s).

Knee Injections are a Safe and Proven Solution for Pain Relief

Whether steroid(cortisone) or viscosupplementation, knee injections can provide quick and often lasting relief of knee pain. These treatments are covered by most major insurance companies and even Medicare, if you qualify.

Contact Arthritis Relief & Vascular Centers today to schedule your free knee pain screening to find out which treatment may be right for you. It’s time you received the knee pain relief you need!

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