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How are corticosteroid injections for osteoarthritis (OA) given?

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Most corticosteroid injections into your knee or a smaller joint, like the base of your thumb, can be done in a doctor’s office.

If the joint is puffy and filled with fluid, the doctor may insert a needle into the joint to draw out the extra fluid. This quickly relieves some of the pain by lowering pressure in the joint.

Your doctor uses a different syringe to inject the corticosteroid into the joint. Relief is almost instant, because the corticosteroid is usually mixed with a painkiller. The corticosteroid begins to curb inflammation within a few hours. The relief usually lasts from several weeks to several months.

For injections into a large joint like your hip, your doctor may use imaging technology to help guide the needle into place.

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation / Arthritis Today: "Use of Corticosteroids in Osteoarthritis." 

Bellamy. , April 19, 2006. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews

Cedars-Sinai Health System: “Joint Injections/Aspiration.”

Hospital for Special Surgery: “How to Reduce Corticosteroid Side Effects.”

University of Washington, Seattle: “Hip and Knee Questions and Answers.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 22, 2019

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation / Arthritis Today: "Use of Corticosteroids in Osteoarthritis." 

Bellamy. , April 19, 2006. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews

Cedars-Sinai Health System: “Joint Injections/Aspiration.”

Hospital for Special Surgery: “How to Reduce Corticosteroid Side Effects.”

University of Washington, Seattle: “Hip and Knee Questions and Answers.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 22, 2019

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What are the risks of injecting corticosteroid for osteoarthritis (OA)?

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