What is a Hip Injection?
Hip injections explained by Denver, Golden, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, and Littleton Colorado’s top pain doctors
The hip is one of the largest and most important joints in the body, as it supports a significant proportion of an individual’s weight. The hip is at a high risk of developing osteoarthritis, due to its consistent levels of movement and load-bearing. Osteoarthritis is associated with the degeneration of the cartilage on the inner surfaces of the joint, resulting in increased friction between the exposed bones. It is the most widespread type of arthritis among the population of the United States. Patients diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis, often experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints affected. This can significantly reduce the ability and motivation to remain mobile and to retain a normal degree of function.
Osteoarthritis is also associated with inflammation, which is a cause of chronic pain. Hip injections are non-surgical procedures for the treatment of constant pain in this joint. They are also used in cases of pain caused by injury and other sources of inflammation. These injections contain local anesthetic medications and sometimes steroids that inhibit inflammation. Hip injections are associated with relief from chronic joint pain in the medium- to long-term.
Hip injections are not a permanent cure for the source of pain, but they are a viable pain management option for patients who may require hip surgery or who suffer from chronic hip pain. Surgery is a more long-term solution, but is contraindicated in individuals in whom hip problems are not deemed quite serious enough to necessitate it or cannot undergo the procedure due to other health complications.
How is a Hip Injection Performed?
A hip injection is a minimally invasive procedure. The patient lies on the side opposite to the hip joint to be treated. The physician or pain specialist administering the injection sterilizes the skin. A hypodermic needle filled with a local anaesthetic such as bupivacaine and/or a steroid will be inserted into the painful joint. If there is a build-up of fluids or pressure in the joint, it may be dispersed during the procedure. This may also contribute to relief from pain.
The patient is then moved to a recovery area following the procedure, where any change in their pain is monitored over one or two hours. If the patient experiences significant pain relief at this point, it is most probable that the cause of their pain is indeed the joint in question. If not, the source of the pain may be related to another region of the joint apart from that injected, or another factor, such as spinal nerve damage.
Hip injections are safe and effective in the vast majority of cases, but there is a slight risk of complications associated with the procedure. Swelling or tenderness of the injected area, insomnia, allergic reaction, tendon rupture, skin discoloration, and excessive bleeding may result from a hip injection.
The procedure often takes full effect (from the patient’s perspective) in a week or less post-injection. A hip injection can achieve several months’ worth of joint pain relief. Based on the patient’s medical history and pain severity, the specialist or physician may recommend multiple treatments over a period of a few weeks, to give maximal effect.
Conditions Related to Hip Injections
Hip injections are associated with relief from pain caused by osteoarthritis, accidental damage, and other conditions. They are also linked to improvements in quality of life, mobility, and normal function, which are often adversely affected by hip pain. Hip injections are a popular treatment choice for patients who either wish to avoid surgery or are prevented from undergoing surgery due to other health problems.
Patients are advised to limit series of hip injections in quick succession to a limited number per year. Excessive injection of the joint could weaken the bone and tendons that comprise it and result in a magnification of damage and pain. A physician should develop a long-term injection regime, based on the patient’s condition, that would be most appropriate, beneficial, and safe. This will ensure maximal pain relief in the long term.
A hip injection is associated with relief from conditions such as osteoarthritis. This procedure inhibits pain and inflammation and is also useful in diagnosing the source of hip pain. Hip injections are minimally invasive and a viable treatment choice for patients wishing to avoid hip surgery.
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