Benefits of joint injection
The main benefits of steroid joint injections are to decrease pain and improve joint function by reducing the inflammation. The injections contain a corticosteroid and a local anaesthetic and are generally well-tolerated.
Joint injections do not however treat the underlying cause of the pain. They only provide short term relief of symptoms so that patients can participate in rehabilitation programmes that will provide long term pain relief and strengthen the joints e.g. rehabilitation exercises and physiotherapy.
The following information is aimed to help you with aftercare following a steroid joint injection.
• Avoid overusing the joint for 7 days following injection
• Ensure you wear any splints/braces your GP recommends
• The steroid may take 48 hours to show any effect
• Avoid Covid vaccination 2 weeks post injection (risk of reduced immunity)
• Avoid joint surgery 3 months following injection (high infection risk)
Mild and Moderate Side Effects
• Mild pain/discomfort of the joint – simple analgesia like paracetamol will help with this
• Numbness around the joint (from local anaesthetic)
• Bruising of the skin
• Pale skin and dimpling around the injection site
• Raised blood pressure (especially if you already have high BP)
• Raised blood sugar (especially if you are diabetic)
Severe Side Effects
These are extremely rare. Please contact 111 or attend the ED if you experience:
• Joint infection – red, hot, swollen joint, extreme pain on movement, fevers
• Bleeding into the joint – joint swelling, pain, extensive bruising, particularly if you take blood thinning medication.