Hip injections are often used as a form of therapy for those who have the painful condition known as osteoarthritis, also known as arthritis of the hip. These injections were first used successfully in the knee, but they are now being used as a form of treatment for many types of hip conditions. The idea behind the hip injections is to reduce pain and stiffness in the joint.
Overview of Hip Injections
Hip injections are treatments which involve the injection of a drug into the joint of your hip, and they are administered by a Los Angeles orthopedic doctor. Prior to making the injection, the doctor will often draw fluid from the hip joint in order to determine if this method of treatment is appropriate for you.
When osteoarthritis is present in the hip, there will often be too much fluid in the area, which causes the joint to get stiff, feel tight, and cause pain to occur. Removing some of this fluid may help relieve the pain prior to the injections.
Types of Injections
There are three different drugs that are used for hip injections, and the type of drug used depends on what doctor feels would be most effective for your unique condition. The first drug is corticosteroids, which is part of the steroid group similar in structure to the steroids that your body makes naturally. This drug is much different than the steroids that are used to build muscles, as their method of action differs.
The second type of drug used for hip injections is called hyaluronic acid. This substance is similar to the acid that your body makes naturally, but it is often depleted in cases where osteoarthritis is present.
The third type of injection used involves stem cell therapy. Stem cell injections into the hip may consist of bone marrow or fat derived stem cell injections, which involve a simple outpatient procedure.
Mechanism of Action
When steroids are injected into the hip, they work by stopping the inflammation that is present in the area. The steroids stop the body from making certain chemicals that cause redness and inflammation. These harmful chemicals are actually created by your body due to osteoarthritis damage. When these chemicals are present, they actually cause the problem to get worse, not better. By stopping the production of the chemicals, the pain can be reduced.
When you have osteoarthritis, the fluid in your joints that is normally present is diminished. This fluid is similar to the hyaluronic acid that is injected into the hip, and it works to help lubricate the joints and also absorb shock in the area.
Many people who receive these hip injections report improvement in their symptoms within one to two weeks, and the improvement can last up to 12 months. The only known side effect of this treatment is tenderness to the area of injection for a short time after the shots are administered.