Hip Joint Injections

Hip joint injections might be prescribed for patients who experience pain in the lower back, buttocks, thigh or in the pelvic region. Diagnosing hip problems can be tricky, in part because the joint between the femur and pelvis is located relatively deep inside the body. However, a congenital condition, osteoarthritis or traumatic injury to the hip can cause pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness to radiate to the lower back, thigh or buttocks. Pain might also be experienced in the hip joint itself, and can be a result of degeneration within the joint or compression of a nearby nerve.

Two purposes

Hip joint injections serve two purposes: to relieve pain (therapeutic injections) and to diagnose the pain’s cause (diagnostic injections). In both cases, a corticosteroid compound – sometimes mixed with morphine or other pain reducers – is used. Here is a comparative description of the two functions of hip joint injections:

  • Therapeutic – If a physician strongly suspects pain or other symptoms are caused by a hip disorder, such as arthritis or an injury, he or she might prescribe a numbing medication along with time-released cortisone. Using fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance, these medications are injected precisely into the epidural space surrounding the joint or nerve in an effort to provide pain relief.
  • Diagnostic – This is, essentially, a trial-and-error method. Numbing medication, usually lidocaine, is injected into the suspected area of injury, nerve irritation or joint degeneration. If complete pain relief occurs rapidly, the physician has successfully located the source of the chronic pain.

If pain persists after hip joint injections

If hip joint injections are not effective for treatment of lower back pain, it’s possible symptoms could be caused by a degenerative spine condition in the lumbar region, such as spinal stenosis, arthritis of the spine or spondylolisthesis. Should chronic back pain or sciatica persist despite weeks or months of non-surgical treatments such as spinal injections, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.