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We all know that keeping active can have hugely beneficial effects on our physical and mental well-being. But what about those who are denied the joy of an invigorating brisk walk or the thrill of a good workout due to joint pain? The answer could lie in steroid joint injections.
Thanks to GP, Dr. McBride, YourGP is now offering this new service. Here she answers the most common questions about steroid joint injections. For those wondering if it could help you lead a more active life, read on…
How common is joint pain?
Joint pain accounts for up to 35% of all GP consultations.
What causes joint pain?
It can be the result a variety of things such as injury, arthritis, or an inflammatory condition.
If a patient comes to you with joint pain, what happens during a typical appointment?
First, I will take a history of the problem, do a full examination, assess whether a joint injection would be suitable for them, and decide if an x-ray is required first. This initial consultation usually lasts around 15 minutes and the joint injection appointment itself will last no more than 30 minutes. It is important to remember that steroid joint injections are not appropriate for use in every patient.
What areas can you treat?
I’m able to ease pain in the shoulder, elbow, knee, and plantar fascia, however patients can only have one joint injected per session. I do not inject wrists and hips as these generally require ultrasound guidance.
What effect does the steroid joint injection have?
It can effectively reduce inflammation and therefore reduce pain.
Does the injection cure the problem or help to manage the symptoms?
A steroid joint injection is not a curative treatment and it is for pain control only.
Is a one-off injection all that is needed or are regular injections required?
That will depend on the individual patient, their response to the injection, and their wishes.
Who can and can’t have the injection?
Adult patients with no documented history of allergy to steroid containing products or local anaesthetic can have it. I do not inject those with inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid.
Are there any side effects?
Generally the injections are well tolerated but as with any procedure there is a risk of pain, bleeding, and infection. It is important to note that not all patients will benefit from this procedure.
What happens after the injection?
I always provide clear aftercare advice to ensure patients stand the best chance of getting the full benefits of the injection.
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