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Knee Injection

What is a Knee Injection?

Knee InjectionWith one in four adults in the USA suffering from chronic knee pain, a knee injection can often be life-changing. Although not a permanent solution to eradicate pain and inflammation in the knee joint, they can temporarily relieve chronic and acute pain experienced in your knees.

Knee pain can arise from a tendon or ligament injury, loss of cartilage from osteoarthritis, and inflammatory conditions. In addition to treating conditions, this injection is also used as a diagnostic tool to help identify where your pain is coming from. It’s a minor procedure taking around 15-30 minutes, involving a combination of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid being injected into your knee joint.

Often, these injections are used in parallel with other nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and pain relief medications. Once given, they generally last between 3-12 months, depending on your type of pain and lifestyle.

At Pro Spine & Pain, we have extensive experience administering these injections. With a reputable team of board-licensed anesthesiologists and pain management physicians who have thousands of hours of clinical experience- we connect you to a transformative treatment that maximizes your mobility and diminishes your pain.

Conditions Treated With Knee Injections

A knee injection can be used to treat several conditions that can affect your knee joint.

Some of the conditions it treats are the following:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disease affecting your knee and other joints
  • Osteoarthritis: This degenerative joint disease causes the cartilage in your knee joint to break down and cause inflammation
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of fluid-filled sacs that cushion your knee joint.
  • Tendinitis: Inflammation of your knee tendons.
  • Synovitis: Inflammation of your synovial knee membrane, which lines the knee joint
  • Meniscal tears: Tears in the cartilage pads in your knee
  • Post-operative pain: Pain following knee surgeries, where pain and inflammation still arise
  • Inflammatory arthritis: Pre-existing arthritis that causes inflammation.

Before undergoing any steroid injection for knee pain, our physicians sit with you in a collaborative consultation. In this appointment, they’ll discuss your symptoms, medical history, and concerns before deciding whether a knee joint injection would be the appropriate treatment method.

Types of Injections for Knee Pain

There are numerous knee injections you could potentially have. At Pro Spine & Pain, the most common ones we administer are Steroid injections (cortisone shots) using corticosteroids.

However, sometimes your physician might advise you to have a:

  • Steroid injections (cortisone shots)
  • Hyaluronic acid injection (Viscosupplementation injections)
  • Platelet-rich plasma injection

Knee Injection Procedure

If your physician has decided based on your diagnosis, that a knee injection is needed, then the procedure is straightforward and quick. On average, this appointment takes 15-30 minutes to complete, and you’ll likely be kept in for 60 minutes afterward for observation to ensure there are no adverse reactions to the injection.

Generally, a knee injection procedure involves the following:

  1. You’ll be propped on an examination table, either lying down or sitting.
  2. Next, your knee will be cleaned thoroughly using an antiseptic solution, lowering the risk of infection.
  3. Following this, a local anesthetic will be administered to ensure you experience no pain across your skin and connecting knee tissues.
  4. Then your physician will use a fluoroscopy, an X-ray that provides images in real-time to guide the needle for the procedure. This x-ray shows visual images of your bone structure and joints, showing the precise location.
  5. Next they’ll insert a thin needle to a joint or tissue around your need.
  6. A contrast dye is given to ensure the medication will reach the right area.
  7. Then they’ll administer the medication and a local anesthetic to ensure immediate pain relief after the procedure is over.

After the injection, you’ll be given post-procedure instructions like avoiding strenuous activities or driving for 12 hours afterward. They may advise you to apply ice around the injection site to relieve any discomfort.


What Are Knee Injections for Arthritis Called?

The main knee injection used to treat arthritis is called viscosupplementation. This injection is likely to be given if you've exhausted all nonsurgical treatment methods and the pain restricts your activities. Hyaluronic acid is injected into your knee joint during this procedure.

What Is in a Genicular Nerve Block?

A genicular nerve block is another name for a knee injection. It involves the injection of medication into your knee to provide a form of temporary pain relief. This injection involves the use of medication, often a steroid combined with a local anesthetic, to alleviate pain.

How Long Does a Cortisone Injection Knee Last?

Often, a cortisone injection knee can last for 3-12 months, sometimes longer too! It all depends on your source of pain and lifestyle. If there are underlying issues, you may need other treatments to help alleviate your pain and inflammation.

Updated on Apr 25, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

More about Dr. Stauss