One of the options for treatment on knee problems is to inject medication into the knee. The doctor usually sprays a local anesthetic first and then inserts the needle in the joint. If there is excessive fluids in the joint, they are removed (aspirated) first. Then the doctor injects the drug into the knee.
There are various types of knee injections
The fluid inside our joints (synovial fluid) normally contains a substance known as hyaluronan. This highly viscous substance lubricates our joint surfaces allowing the articular cartilage to glide smoothly upon each other. It also acts like a shock absorber.
These injections contains similar hayaluronan. They may help in relieving the knee pain in cases of mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, thus improving the joint mobility and allowing patients more activity.
It is indicated in patients who were not significantly relieved by anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy or patients unable to take these drugs due to their side effects.
After injection, some patients may experience temporary pain and swelling. Allergic reaction to the injection is rare.Improvement in pain can be expected to occur after 4-12 weeks, and this may last for up to several months. The injection can be repeated if required.
Steroids are strong anti-inflammatory drugs. They can rapidly relieve pain and swelling of arthritis. However, their effect last only for few weeks and they should not be used frequently as this may lead to damage of the knee cartilage.