Joint and Soft Tissue Injections

Dr Bateson and Dr Singhal perform these for the relief of conditions such as golfer’s elbow etc. You will need to be assessed by a doctor before booking these.

What to expect

Joint injections are used for the treatment of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, certain types of shoulder pain / movement limitation and occasionally osteoarthritis (‘wear and tear’). They are generally very safe but a few points should be considered before an injection takes place.

  • The injection itself may be painful. Local anaesthetic and steroid are used in the injection. If you are allergic to local anaesthetic or steroid you MUST tell your doctor.
  • The local anaesthetic injected into the joint will provide some pain relief but this may only last a few hours. In the evening after the injection, or the morning after, the joint may become painful again. This is entirely normal and not a cause for concern. Taking simple painkillers such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Co-codamol should help. The pain should wear off within the following day or two as the steroid begins to take effect.
  • As with any procedure there is a risk of infection. Before the injection the area will be fully cleaned and sterile equipment used to minimize this risk. However, if the joint becomes hot, red, swollen or tender after the injection, please consult a doctor immediately as treatment for septic arthritis (joint infection), may be needed. This is a very rare event.
  • When steroids are injected into the joints they can cause permanent dimpling or hardening of the skin and fatty tissue at the injection site, a condition known as ‘lipodystrophy’. People with darker skins occasionally notice that the steroid injection can cause a loss of skin pigment in the area. Again this is permanent and although uncommon, should be accepted as a risk of treatment. If this is not acceptable to you please do not go ahead with the treatment.
    If you are unwell at the time of the injection it may be necessary to re-schedule the appointment. Please tell the doctor if you have any coughs/colds or other illness before the injection.

Rest the joint for 24-48 hours after the injection and then start performing appropriate exercises to regain mobility (such as those advised by a physiotherapist).