Injury to the joints can cause pain in the legs, lower back, groin, buttocks, knees, shoulders and hips. Pain may occur from injury, simple wear and tear or an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
A joint is where the ends of two bones meet. They allow movement from side to side, up and down, and in rotation. A special lining covering the ends of bones, called cartilage, stops the bones from rubbing together and allows easy, smooth movement. If cartilage becomes worn down, the bones rub together during movement, causing significant pain.
By injecting a local anesthetic and steroid into the injured joint, we aim to reduce joint pain and inflammation.
The UCSF Pain Management Center offers the following types of joint injections:
- Shoulder joint injection
- Knee joint injection
- Hip joint injection
During a joint injection, you will lie on your stomach on an X-ray table. The skin over the targeted joint is cleaned with antiseptic solution and then injected with local anesthetic to numb the area. Using X-ray guidance, the doctor will insert a needle into the targeted joint and inject a combination of anesthetic and steroids.
The procedure takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes.
You may experience minor soreness around the targeted area for a few days after the procedure. You can treat this with ice and over-the-counter pain medications.
Pain relief will depend on your condition. In some cases, if your pain is significantly improved by the injection, your doctor may recommend further injections. If not, other types of pain treatments may be recommended.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Epidural injections are most often used to treat low back pain, chronic neck pain and lower and upper extremity pain caused by radiculopathy/sciatica.
Intrathecal Drug Delivery
Intrathecal drug delivery, also known as the "pain pump," uses a small pump to deliver pain medication directly to your spinal cord. Find more information here.
Your doctor may suggest a nerve block if other treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medicines, rest and physiotherapy were unsuccessful.Learn more here.
RFA typically targets pain from the facet and sacroiliac joints, which can contribute to chronic pain in the neck or lower back. Find more information here.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation delivers mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord that interrupt pain signals to the brain, replacing them with a tingling sensation.