Musculoskeletal Problems and Joint Injections

If you have a painful joint – for example from injury or arthritis – your VIVA Medi Clinics doctor may offer you a joint injection in the form of steroid medicine.

Steroid joint injections don’t cure the underlying problem in your joint, but they may ease symptoms and allow you to cope with physiotherapy treatment better. Pain relief can last for anything from one week to two months or longer. The injections can be repeated every four months if you need them. General advice is that joints are injected no more than three times in one year.

Corticosteroid injections may be used for treating a variety of different joints including:

The Elbow

“Tennis Elbow” or Lateral Epicondylitis

This is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint. You may notice pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow.

“Golfer’s Elbows” or Medial Epicondylitis

This is a condition that causes pain around the inside of the elbow, and often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm near the elbow joint. You may notice pain on the inside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow.

The Wrist

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

This is a painful condition affecting the tendons located on the thumb side of your wrist. It usually occurs from overusing your thumb or wrist.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is a common condition that causes a tingling sensation, numbness, and sometimes pain in the hand and fingers.

The Hand

Trigger Finger

This is a condition that affects one or more of the hand’s tendons, making it difficult to bend the affected finger or thumb. If the tendon becomes swollen and inflamed it can ‘catch’ in the tunnel that it runs through (the tendon sheath). This can make it difficult to move the affected finger or thumb and can result in a clicking sensation.

Carpo-metacarpal joint osteoarthritis

This very painful condition is becoming more prevalent with advent of smart phones and texting, with thumb joint pain and swelling.

The Knee

Knee Effusion

Knee swelling – sometimes referred to as knee effusion or water on the knee – signals a problem with the knee. If this is secondary to osteoarthritis, aspiration of this fluid can cause some relief.

Osteoarthritis

  • The main symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee are:
  • pain (particularly when you’re moving your knee or at the end of the day – this usually gets better when you rest)
  • stiffness (especially after rest – this usually eases after a minute or so as you get moving)
  • crepitus, a creaking, crunching, grinding sensation when you move the joint
  • hard swellings (caused by osteophytes)
  • soft swellings (caused by extra fluid in the joint)
The Shoulder

“Frozen Shoulder” or Adhesive Capsulitis

This is a condition that leads to pain and stiffness of the shoulder, with the symptoms tending to gradually get worse over a number of months. You’ll typically experience shoulder pain for the first two to nine months, which can be severe, followed by increasing stiffness.

Shoulder Joint (Glenohumeral) Arthritis

Typically, shoulder arthritis is indicated by a gradual onset of pain, tenderness, and limited range of motion. Shoulder arthritis comes in many forms, most commonly osteoarthritis, followed by forms of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Tendons are the tough, rubbery cords that link muscles to bones. The most common presentation is shoulder pain or discomfort. This may occur with activity, particularly shoulder activity above the horizontal position, but may also be present at rest in bed.

Shoulder Impingement

This is a very common cause of shoulder pain, where a tendon (band of tissue) inside your shoulder rubs or catches on nearby tissue and bone as you lift your arm.

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