What are Hip Steroid Injections?
Hip steroid injections involve administering medication through a needle into your hip joint to relieve pain and inflammation. Cortisol is a hormone that is naturally produced in the human body and functions to reduce stress and inflammation. Steroids are synthetic drugs that resemble cortisol and are used in treating joint pain. Steroid injections are often combined with other treatment options such as physical therapy, other medications, and occupational therapy.
Indications for Hip Steroid Injections
Hip steroid injections are recommended by your doctor if you have painful hip conditions including:
- Hip osteoarthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hip bursitis
Talk to your doctor about the medicines you are taking, especially blood-thinners. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medicines or anesthesia. A small amount of joint fluid may be extracted and sent for diagnosis prior to the procedure.
A joint injection usually involves the following steps:
- Your doctor may draw a few lines on the skin to mark the injection site.
- Your skin at the injection site is cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
- The needle is injected into the soft tissue and advanced towards the joint and the drug is injected into the joint. Imaging guidance such as ultrasound or fluoroscopy may be used to accurately inject the drugs into the joint.
- The steroids may be injected into a vein, muscle, soft tissue, bursa or tendon.
- After the injection, the pressure is applied to the injection site and a bandage applied.
After the Procedure
You will need to spend some time in the recovery room under observation.
- You may be asked to ice the injection site.
- Avoid heat exposure and any work that may stress your hip for a few days.
- Take medications as prescribed.
Frequency of Injections
Joint injections may be effective for a few weeks to 6 months or longer. Treatment may involve one or more injections spread over a few weeks. Your doctor may schedule repeat treatments if necessary.
Complications are rare, but can involve:
- Allergic reactions
- Discoloration of skin
- Tendon Rupture
Hip steroid injections have numerous advantages including:
- Helps restore the structure and function of the hip
- Reduces inflammation and pain
- May eliminate the need for oral medications
- Avoids high doses of medicines which could cause side-effects
Hip steroid injections are not recommended if you:
- Are allergic to steroids
- Suffer from diabetes or any hormone disorder
- Have a hip infection or any other infection in the body
- Have bleeding problems