#treatment - Hip

Hip Injections

  • in patients with hip pain, a diagnostic injection of anaesthetic into the joint can help clarify the diagnosis, in terms of working out exactly where the pain comes from
  • injection of cortisone / steroid or hyaluron can give relief of symptoms from hip arthritis

In some cases where patients either have suspected or proven pathology inside the hip joint, intra-articular injection of the hip may well prove beneficial.

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What conditions can it be performed for?

Hip injection may provide some degree of symptom relief in cases of:

  • labral tears
  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • early osteoarthritis of the hip
  • inflammatory arthritis of the hip

What is injected?

Normally, a mixture of local anaesthetic plus steroid is injected into the joint. The local anaesthetic gives rapid pain relief, although this wears off quite quickly. The steroid (also sometime called cortisone) acts as a very powerful anti-inflammatory – like taking a massive dose of Nurofen, although it acts just locally, within the joint. Patients do not get all the same side effects from a steroid injection as they do from having high dose i.v. steroids or prolonged courses of steroid tablets – this is because the steroid acts just locally, within the joint, to reduce inflammation.

How is it done?

Because the hip joint is quite deep and tight, a long thin needle is used and this is guided into the hip joint under X-ray control. One the needle appears to be in the correct position, a dye is then injected to make sure that the tip of the needle is actually inside the hip joint. The local anaesthetic and steroid can then be injected into the hip joint.

Intra-articular injections into the hip joint are normally done in the operating theatre with a small amount of local anaesthetic, with the patient awake. This ensures the cleanest possible environment, to minimise the potential risks of introducing infection.

Hip injections are normally done as a quick day-case procedure. Patients are normally able to fully weight bear pretty much straight away afterwards, although they may potentially need a crutch for assistance afterwards for a short period.

Does it work?

Intra-articular injection into the hip is not  going to cure things such as arthritis within the joint. However, it can normally offer good pain relief for a reasonable length of time, although this can range from anywhere between a few weeks up to several months, depending on what pathology is present and how severe that pathology might actually be.