Arthritis is a common condition that affects joints. The damage caused by the many forms of arthritis can cause pain and loss of function in various joints. The good news is joint injections can help treat the various symptoms caused by arthritis.
At Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, our team specializes in orthopedic injuries and joint problems. In this blog, Robert Douglas Bostick III, MD, explains what arthritis is and how joint injections can treat this debilitating disease.
How does arthritis affect joints?
Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 diseases that affect the joints. Each kind of arthritis causes damage and inflammation in the joints, often leading to pain and disability.
One type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative form of the disease that affects the protective layer of cartilage in joints. Cartilage provides cushioning and protects the bones in joints from rubbing against one another. As this tissue breaks down, this allows bone to rub against bone, leading to inflammation and pain.
Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. With this condition, the immune system attacks joint tissue. The result is pain and inflammation.
Arthritis usually develops over time, and it can cause permanent joint damage if left untreated.
What are the types of arthritis injections?
There are a number of joint injections that can treat the symptoms and even help rebuild tissue. Injections are often used in conjunction with other treatments, such as physical therapy, ice therapy, and heat therapy. Some of the main injections include the following:
This type of injection contains hyaluronic acid, which mimics the lubricant that’s lost through the damage of arthritis. You may need multiple hyaluronic acid injections to achieve the desired results of reduced pain and increased mobility.
Steroid injections work by reducing inflammation in your joint. Corticosteroid injections often work faster and are usually more effective than over-the-counter anti-inflammatories because they’re more powerful and are applied directly into the joint.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a type of regenerative medicine that makes use of powerful platelets from your own blood. With this treatment, some of your blood is drawn. Then the platelets are separated from the blood sample and injected into the targeted joint. The platelets then go to work helping to rebuild new tissue in the damaged joint.
How effective are arthritis injections?
As you can see by the list above, joint injections can help ease symptoms in a number of ways, such as help reduce pain, control inflammation, and restore joint function. However, the effectiveness can vary from person to person.
This is due to a number of reasons, such as the severity of the symptoms and the fact that everyone metabolizes injections differently. These and other factors can affect how much relief is provided and how long the relief lasts.
If you have painful arthritis symptoms, Dr. Bostick can help. To get a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps, call 504-541-5800 or book an appointment online with Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today.