A steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure that can temporarily relieve pain caused by an inflamed joint. The cause of joint pain (arthritis, injury, degeneration) is not well understood. The procedure has two purposes. First, it can be used as a diagnostic test to see if the pain is actually coming from the joint. Second, it can be used as a treatment to relieve inflammation and pain caused by various conditions.
What is a steroid joint injection?
A steroid injection includes both a corticosteroid (e.g., triamcinolone, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone) and an anesthetic numbing agent (e.g., lidocaine or bupivacaine). The drugs are delivered to the painful joint, inside the joint capsule.
Corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation and can be effective when delivered directly into the painful area. The pain relief can last from days to years, allowing your condition to improve with physical therapy and an exercise program.
Injections can be made in the following areas:
facet joints of the spine
sacroiliac joint and coccyx
shoulder, elbow, and hand
knee, ankle and foot