Therapeutic Peripheral Joint Injections
If you have a swollen or painful peripheral joint, (such as the hip shoulder, elbow, knee, wrist, foot and ankle) your symptoms can be relieved by injecting a steroid medication into the affected joint to help relieve pain, reduce the inflammation and improve the joint movement. Pain relief after an injection may last for several weeks to many months. The injections may be also repeated if our doctor deems necessary, as more long-term benefit may be obtained after subsequent injections. Peripheral joint injections are performed as an outpatient procedure in our state of the art facilities, with local anesthesia and require no special preparation. A small needle is placed into the area using fluoroscopic guidance, and confirmed with a small amount of radiographic contrast. The precise placement of the needle with imaging guidance allows our doctors at Southwest Spine & Sports to administer a small dose of steroid to the affected joint with minimal side effects.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Athletes and active individuals who endure chronic pain from tendon injuries or osteoarthritis may finally get relief from a safe, non-surgical procedure. It’s called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, and it utilizes platelets from the athletes’ own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon or cartilage. It has been successful in not only relieving the pain, but also in jumpstarting the healing process. Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is done in an exam room and takes less than an hour. The patient’s blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the damaged portion of the tendon or cartilage with the guidance of an ultrasound machine. Patients are put on a program of relative rest followed by physical therapy for the first 6 weeks. After about 6 to 12 weeks, patients are re-evaluated for improvement. Some patients with more difficult injuries may require more than one injection to achieve successful outcomes. The majority of PRP patients find that within 3 months they can return to most or all of the activities they were doing before the pain started.