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Steroid Joint Injection

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about steroid joint injection?

A steroid joint injection is a procedure to inject steroid medicine into a joint. Steroid medicine decreases pain and inflammation. The injection may also contain an anesthetic (numbing medicine) to decrease pain. It may be done to treat conditions such as arthritis, gout, or carpal tunnel syndrome. The injections may be given in your knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or wrist. Injections may also be given in your hip, toe, thumb, or finger.

How do I prepare for steroid joint injection?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for this procedure. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may need to stop taking blood thinners several days before your procedure.

What will happen during steroid joint injection?

You may be given local anesthesia to numb the area where the injection will be given. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure during the procedure, but you should not feel any pain. Your provider may use ultrasound or fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to guide the needle to the right area. He or she will then inject the steroid into your joint. A bandage will be placed on the injection site.

What will happen after steroid joint injection?

You may have redness, warmth, or sweating in your face and chest right after the steroid injection. Steroids can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugars closely in the first 24 hours after your procedure.

What are the risks of steroid joint injection?

You may get an infection in your joint. The injection may also cause more pain during the first 24 to 36 hours. You may need more than one injection to feel pain relief. The skin near the injection site may be damaged and become discolored or indented. This can happen if the steroid is placed too close to your skin. A tendon near the injection site may rupture or a nerve can be damaged.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.