Hip Joint Pain

What is the hip joint?

The hip joint is a large joint where the leg joins the pelvis. It usually hurts from arthritis, although there are other less common causes of pain that derive from this joint.

When the joint becomes painful it can cause pain in its immediate region or it can refer pain into your groin, buttocks, or legs.

Why is a hip joint injection helpful?

A hip joint injection serves several purposes. First, by placing numbing medicine into the joint, the amount of immediate pain relief you experience will help confirm or deny the joint as a source of your pain. The injection also serves for treatment purposes because in addition to numbing medicine, the physician also injects time-release cortisone, which will serve to reduce any presumed inflammation within your joint. By relieving your pain, the injection may increase your function and delay surgery (hip joint replacement, which is the treatment of choice if other treatments have failed).

What will happen to me during the procedure?

After the physician has administered an intravenous pain reliever, you will lie on your stomach. The skin over your buttocks will be well cleaned. Next, the physician will numb a small area of skin, which stings for a few seconds.

Next, the physician will use fluoroscopic guidance to direct a very small needle into the joint. Then the physician will inject contrast dye to confirm that the medicine goes into the joint. Next, a small amount of numbing medicine and anti-inflammatory cortisone will be slowly injected.

What will happen to me after the procedure?

You will rest in the recovery area for 30 minutes before going home. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. You will be given instructions regarding your pain, activity, driving, etc.

The physician will monitor your pain response. If you have good and long-lasting pain relief, you can avoid or at least postpone hip surgery and reduce the amount of painkillers you are taking thus avoiding their potential side effects.