Many of the patients we see in our clinic have pain associated with joint inflammation. This inflammation is commonly caused by overuse of the joint, muscular imbalances around the joint, lack of proper muscular control of the area, or osteoarthritis. Whatever the cause, a cycle of pain can develop that can become hard to break. Postural, neuromuscular, and ergonomic re-education may be warranted, but improvement may still progress slowly.
At Senior Physical Medicine, we use joint injections to assist in a quicker recovery process. Our joint injections include Marcaine, Supartz (hyaluronic acid).
According to the Mayo Clinic: Cortisone shots carry a risk of complications, such as:
- Death of nearby bone (osteonecrosis)
- Joint infection
- Nerve damage
- Thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site
- Temporary flare of pain and inflammation in the joint
- Tendon weakening or rupture
- Thinning of nearby bone (osteoporosis)
- Whitening or lightening of the skin around the injection site
There are limits on the number of cortisone shots. There’s some concern that repeated use of cortisone shots may cause deterioration of the cartilage within a joint. For this reason, doctors typically limit the number of cortisone shots into a joint. In general, cortisone injections should not be given more often than every six weeks and usually not more than three or four times a year.
At Senior Physical Medicine, one of our joint injection options is Marcaine. Marcaine is an anesthetic, which means that it simply reduces pain. It does not carry the risks seen with cortisone. By using Marcaine in our joint injections, we are able to get our patients back to function through proper movement patterns faster, thereby breaking the pain cycle.
Hyaluronan is a natural substance found in your joints that cushions and lubricates. Osteoarthritis of the knee can result from a low level of lubricating substance (hyaluronan) in the synovial fluid that cushions your knee. Without enough hyaluronan, the bones of your knees begin to rub against each other, causing erosion, bone spurs, and pain. A tool we utilize specifically for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is a ‘viscosupplement’ made from hyaluronan. The goal of this is to supplement the poor quality hyaluronan in your painful knee with additional highly purified hyaluronan (also known as hyaluronic acid). The additional cushion and lubrication this treatment provides to the knee relieves pain and gets you back to your favorite activities. The treatment only takes a few minutes and results can be long lasting.