Joint and Soft Tissue Injections
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What are joint and soft tissue injections?
Joint and soft tissue injections are shots with a needle into a joint (such as your knee) or a soft tissue space (such as the space between a muscle and a bone). The needle may be used to take out fluid or to put in medicine. These shots can be used to diagnose or treat many different conditions, including rheumatism, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and bursitis.
Anti-inflammatory medicines such as corticosteroids and pain relievers such as lidocaine are the most common medicines used for joint and soft tissue injections. Before getting an injection, it is important to tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to steroids or any other drug.
What will I feel during the injection?
Your healthcare provider will probably give you a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) before the injection so you feel very little pain. You may feel some pain after the anesthetic wears off. Hold ice on the area for 15 minutes several times a day or contact your healthcare provider about other ways to relieve the pain. They may recommend taking an oral pain reliever.
What are some common side effects of joint and soft tissue injections?
The most common side effects of joint and soft tissue injections are irritation and swelling of the tissues. This is known as a post-injection “flare” and may last up to 48 hours. Other possible side effects include infection, tendon rupture and muscle damage. In order to reduce your risk of infection, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully and keep the injection site clean. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice any redness or swelling.
Joint and Soft Tissue Injection by DA Cardone, D.O., C.A.Q.S.M., and AF Tallia, M.D., M.P.H. (American Family Physician 07/15/02, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020715/283.html)