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Specialist Orthopaedic Doctors

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...and the Not So Young

Hip Joint Injections

Where patients either have suspected or proven pathology inside the hip joint, intra-articular injection of the hip may well prove beneficial.

What conditions can it be performed for?
Hip injection may provide symptom relief in cases of:

What is injected?
A variety of different substances can be injected into the hip joint. A mixture of local anaesthetic plus steroid is often injected into the joint. The local anaesthetic gives rapid pain relief, although this wears off quite quickly. This makes it more comfortable for the patient and lets your doctor know if all the pain is coming from the hip joint itself. Steroid (also sometime called cortisone) act as a very powerful anti-inflammatory, although it acts just locally, within the joint.

Patients do not get all the same side effects from a steroid injection as they do from having high dose i.v. steroids or prolonged courses of steroid tablets - this is because the steroid acts just locally, within the joint, to reduce inflammation. As well as steroid we are able to inject Hyaluronic Acid (e.g Ostenil, Synvisc or Duralane) into the joint. This acts as a synthetic synovial fluid (which helps lubricate the joint) reducing pain and improving movement. This treatment is especially beneficially in the case of arthritic(wear and tear) changes.

How is it done?
Because the hip joint is quite deep and tight, a long thin needle is used and this is guided into the hip joint under X-ray control. One the needle appears to be in the correct position, a dye is then injected to make sure that the tip of the needle is actually inside the hip joint. The local anaesthetic and steroid can then be injected into the hip joint.

Intra-articular injections into the hip joint are done in our X-ray guided operating theatre with a small amount of local anaesthetic to the skin to make things more comfortable. This ensures the cleanest possible environment, to minimise the potential risks of introducing infection.

Hip injections are normally done as a quick day-case procedure with the patients awake and they are able to go home 30-60 minutes after the procedure. Patients are normally able to fully weight bear pretty much straight away afterwards, although they may potentially need a crutch for assistance afterwards for a short period.

Does it work?
Intra-articular injection into the hip is not going to cure things such as arthritis within the joint. However, it can normally offer good pain relief for a reasonable length of time, although this can range from anywhere between a few weeks up to several months or years depending on what pathology is present and how severe that pathology might actually be.