Unfortunately for the human race, there are a bunch of other joints besides the spine and neck that fall prey to pain created by injury or arthritis. We’re talking about the the knees, shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles in particular. When it comes to injections for these other joints, expect it to take the form of either hyaluronic acid or cortisone. Let’s discuss each in turn.
Not technically defined as a medicine – it’s probably more accurately described as a supplement – hyaluronic acid, when injected into a troublesome joint, boosts the body’s natural supply of the stuff. Hyaluronic acid serves as lubricant and a shock absorber of sorts in a healthy joint, allowing adjoining bones to move smoothly over each other. In osteoarthritis in particular, the body’s natural supply of hyaluronic acid seems to break down. A booster injection can reduce pain and inflammation, though only for a short period of time. A typical shot schedule is to receive one weekly for anywhere from three to five weeks. You may need to revisit this shot schedule periodically to keep the pain away. Expect that you will have a small amount of joint fluid drained first to make room for the hyaluronic acid.
We’ve discussed the use of cortisone (steroid) injections for spine and neck pain, but they can also be quite effective in addressing the other joints we’ve mentioned. For example, Dr. Kaufman might inject cortisone directly into a bothersome knee for pain-relieving benefits that last from a few days to six months or longer. The downside to cortisone injections is that, eventually, they are liable to cause the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, which is exactly the kind of thing we want to avoid. For that reason, you will likely be limited to the number of cortisone injections you can receive in each joint.
Worth mentioning is the idea that Dr. Kaufman may suggest a procedure called arthrocentesis, more commonly known as “draining the joint.” More commonly associated with knees, arthrocentesis is a quick way to reduce swelling and pain but also allows for a fluid sample to be sent to the lab for testing.
Those in the Miami, Florida, area are invited to call 786.369.4010 today for an appointment with Dr. Kaufman. His world class knowledge and skill in applying pain management techniques could set you on the road to recovery sooner than you ever imagined.