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A knee joint straightened out on a surface with latex gloved hands holding a syringe that is inserted into the leg just below the knee joint.

Your doctor may recommend injections directly into the aching joint. The purpose of the injections is to reduce the irritation caused by bone rubbing on bone. Injections are more typically done for patients with knee arthritis and only infrequently for patients with hip arthritis.

Corticosteroid Injections:

  • About half to two-thirds of the patients find these injections relieve pain.
  • Pain relief will last anywhere from several weeks to 3-6 months. 
  • Some patients will not have any improvement after an injection.
  • Leave at least 3 months between corticosteroid injections.
  • The injection is typically performed in the office and doesn’t interfere with your ability to drive home.

Hyaluronan Injections:

  • Medications such as Synvisc, Hyalgan, Orthovisc and others.
  • There is disagreement about the effectiveness of this medication in the orthopaedic community and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has not recommended its use.
  • You may have a large copay for these medications as well - even up to several hundred dollars, depending on your insurance.