Hobbled by Hip Pain? Try an Intra-Articular Hip Injection

You could be one of the 25% of Americans who may develop arthritis in the hip. Every step you take may cause a deep ache in the hip joint. Another possibility: Your pain may have been caused by hip impingement, a condition in which the ball and socket of your hip don’t fit together as they should. 

Why do I have chronic hip pain? 

Aside from a fracture or temporary muscle strain, chronic hip pain usually develops from hip impingement or arthritis. At Apollo Pain Management in Sun City Center, Florida, Dr. R. James Warren and the staff can help relieve your discomfort.

Impingement 

Hip impingement can result from abnormal growth of your hip socket. The socket may cover too much of the ball of your hip. Abnormal placement can also cause bone spurs that result in impingement with groin and hip pain. Hip impingement may eventually cause your hip labrum –– the cartilage structure that lines the ball of the hip –– to tear, which causes hip pain. Hip impingement and labral tears can also result from repeated stress on the hip joint from playing sports such as hockey, football, or soccer.

Hip arthritis 

Impingement leads to abnormal hip rotation that causes pain. It wears down the articular cartilage in your hip, the tissue that protects the ends of each bone in your joint. When it deteriorates significantly, you have hip arthritis. Athletes who place repeated stress on the hips are at risk for arthritis, as are those with hip impingement from congenital causes. Being overweight or obese can also result in hip arthritis, as can an accident or or trauma to the hip. Whatever the cause, you need relief. 

What is an intra-articular injection? 

Intra-articular injections use a special needle that delivers steroid medication into your hip joint, helping to relieve pain. The steroid medication helps reduce the inflammation that characterizes hip arthritis and impingement. Studies show that injections can help delay hip replacement. If you need surgery, the injection provides a window of time in which to prepare for it. 

What happens during your appointment?

You’ll lie on a table covered with a clean sheet. Your Apollo Pain Management team uses a special X-ray to see the area to be treated. This X-ray shows your physician how to place the needle so it goes directly to the target area in your hip to relieve your pain. This method of injection minimizes disruption to the tissues surrounding the treatment area. Your physician may use a dye to help highlight the area if he feels it’s needed and if you aren’t allergic to it. 

Your doctor numbs the skin over your joint with a local anesthetic. You may have chosen to take an oral sedative such as Valium, for which your Apollo Pain Management team provides a prescription before the appointment. You’ll need someone to drive you home after the procedure. Once home, be sure to follow your written discharge instructions. 

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll be awake, but if you chose a sedative, you might feel sleepy. 

How long will the injection relieve my pain?

You should experience pain relief for at least three months; some individuals experience pain relief that’s much more long-lasting. Each case is different. 

If your physician refers you to Apollo Pain Management, call or request an appointment online. One of our coordinators will call you to schedule your appointment. 

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