What Are Joint & Bursa Injections?
A joint and bursa injection is a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultrasound or a fluoroscope -a type of guided X-ray- to best visualize the area to be treated. Using this method, a slender needle is inserted into either the bursa or the joint’s intra-articular space. A dye may also be injected to confirm the needle’s placement while steroids and anesthetics are administered. Several joints may be treated during a single session. The procedure takes approximately five minutes. Your doctor may ask you to record pain levels for a few days after the procedure to monitor the treatment’s effectiveness. Some patients experience immediate relief while others take 2 – 7 days. It takes a minimum of 24 hours for the steroid to work accordingly.
How Do Joint & Bursa Injections Work?
These injections are commonly used on patients suffering from bursitis. Bursitis is the inflammation of bursae that surround joints and tissues. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between bones, muscles, and tendons. Major bursae are found around the shoulders, hips, knees, and elbows. If bursae become irritated, they may swell and cause pain in adjacent joints. While bursitis can occur due to injuries and infections, the leading cause is arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes the swelling of the joints and connective tissue of the body, causing pain and affecting over 15 million people in the United States every year. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, with pain levels ranging from mild to severe. The most common arthritic conditions are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
For some patients, one treatment is enough. However, if the pain returns, your doctor may recommend repeating the procedure. Depending on specific health factors, most people can have up to four treatments a year. If there is no pain relief, the targeted bursa or joint may not be the problem’s source. This information helps the doctor explore other diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as spinal cord stimulation or medial branch blocks.Request Appointment
Benefits of Joint & Bursa Injections
If you experience severe pain, swelling, redness, or other symptoms associated with an arthritic flareup, your physician may recommend joint and bursa injections to treat the condition. Bursitis, or inflammation of a bursa, may also occur independently of arthritis. Repetitive motion, injury, infections, or applying extra pressure on a bursa can also lead to this condition.
The injection is also used as a diagnostic tool to clarify which joint or bursa is affected. If the site of the pain and inflammation is known, the procedure is considered to be therapeutic. Corticosteroids reduce or eliminate swelling. As swelling decreases, the pain usually subsides, and the bursa and joint regain movement and normal appearance. If you or anyone you know is currently experiencing arthritis or bursitis, we recommend reaching out to our team today. Our interventional pain specialists have decades of expertise and would be happy to work with you to find the best treatment to manage your pain.