The hip joint is a large joint where the leg meets the pelvis. The presence of arthritis or mechanical stress in the hip joint may cause patients to experience hip, buttock, leg, and lower back pain. A hip joint injection may provide patients with rapid pain relief and help physicians diagnose the underlying cause of pain. A hip joint injection involves the injection of medicine directly into the hip joint, which serves the following functions:
Diagnostic: the amount of immediate pain relief can confirm or deny the joint as a source of pain. Complete pain relief indicates the joint is the source of pain.
Therapeutic: injection of time-release cortisone reduces inflammation in the joint and provides long-term pain relief.
The hip joint injection procedure includes the following steps:
An IV line is started to administer relaxation medicine as needed.
The patient lies face down on an X-ray table and the skin of the hip is sanitized.
The physicians numb a small area of skin with an anesthetic.
Using X-ray guidance, the physician directs a small needle into the joint, then injects several drops of contrast dye to ensure the medicine only reaches the joint.
A small mixture of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory cortisone is slowly injected.
Indications for hip joint injections include the following:
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome – a regional pain disorder causing lateral hip pain and tenderness
Osteoarthritis – a common form of arthritis in which the protective cartilage at the ends of the bones begins to wear down
Patients suffering from greater trochanteric pain syndrome or osteoarthritis should consult a pain physician regarding the benefits of a hip joint injection. The procedure is safe, effective, and may be quickly performed in an outpatient setting.