Ultrasound Guided Hip Injections
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and is the largest weight-bearing joint in the human body. The head of the thigh bone or femur forms the “ball” and the acetabulum of the pelvis is the “socket”. These bones come together to form the hip joint.
The hip joint is made up of:
- Bones and joints
- Muscles and tendons
- Nerves and blood vessels
The hip joint may become painful and inflamed due to various conditions.
Hip joint injections can help diagnose the source of pain as well as alleviate the discomfort. A hip joint injection is a mixture of an anesthetic which blocks pain impulses and a steroid which reduces inflammation to the area. Hip joint injections are a conservative treatment approach to relieve hip pain.
The hip joint helps to bear your body’s weight while standing, walking and running. The joint may become painful and inflamed due to overuse, trauma or certain medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, leading to pain in the hip, low back, buttock or leg. The pain may increase with certain activities and movements.
Hip joint injections are usually indicated to treat hip joint pain not relieved by other conservative treatment options. Conditions treated with hip joint injections include:
- Arthritis (inflammation of the joints)
- Bursitis (inflammation of fluid-filled sacs that act as a cushion between bones and soft tissue present in the joint)
- Synovitis (inflammation of the joint lining)
- Defects of the hip labrum (the raised rim of cartilage that borders the lining of the acetabulum)
- Trauma or post-surgical pain
Hip joint injections are usually performed by a radiologist. You are requested to bring any previous scans or X-rays of your hip.
- For the procedure, you will lie on your back and with the help of an ultrasound scan, the injection site is identified and marked on your hip.
- The site is then cleansed and anesthetized.
- A needle is inserted through the site and guided into the hip joint with the help of live ultrasound imaging.
- An injection of anesthetic and steroid medicine is then administered.
- Once completed, the needle is removed and the injection site covered with a small dressing.
- The entire procedure takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes
- You are observed for a while and if stable may return home.
Your doctor will prescribe medication and ice pack applications to help relieve any pain and soreness at the injection site.
You are advised not to drive, bathe or shower immediately after the procedure. The anesthetic in the injection usually has an immediate effect. The steroid component will start to show effects in 2-3 days.
Risks and complications
Risks and complications with this procedure are rare and include
- Bruising at the injection site
- Allergic reaction
- Leg problems or weakness