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Accurate Injections for…
Knowledge Center

Accurate Injections for Joint Relief at DOC

September 17, 2017
Injection therapy being performed to help with joint pain.

When the smooth, protective cartilage cushion between the bones of the joints wears away, people experience joint pain and inflammation. Articular cartilage damage most commonly occurs in the knee, but the elbow, wrist, ankle, shoulder, and hip can be affected. The causes of cartilage damage are a direct blow from a fall or accident, wear and tear, and inactivity. All small articular cartilage defects can eventually progress to osteoarthritis.

Direct Orthopedic Care, DOC, diagnoses and treats the underlying conditions, which predispose people to joint damage, such as obesity, misalignment, poor body mechanics, and inflammatory or autoimmune disorders. DOC provides relief for patient guests suffering from pain and inflammation through injection therapy. If cartilage damage is left untreated, the joint can eventually become so damaged that the person cannot walk. The purpose of a cortisone injection is to reduce irritation caused by bone interacting with a bone when the smooth, protective cartilage interface wears away. Cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory medication used to treat acute and chronic inflammation of musculoskeletal and degenerative joint conditions. DOC’s orthopedic team is highly qualified to inject corticosteroids directly into the joint for quick relief of pain and inflammation. Two or three body parts can be injected in one visit using a lower dose to limit risk. Cortisone injections are most often used for knee and shoulder pain but can be used in any joint in the body. The injection may take up to seven days to take effect. Factors such as the extent of the inflammation and overall patient health can determine how long a steroid shot will last.

DOC recommends three months between injections for a single joint and no more than six total injections in a year. Hyaluronic acid supplements are an injection alternative for knee joints to supplement naturally occurring hyaluronic acid. In healthy joints, hyaluronic acid acts as a shock absorber and lubricant, allowing joints to move smoothly over each other. When the natural hyaluronic acid breaks down, typically in people with osteoarthritis, an injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint may lessen pain and inflammation. The injections are given weekly for three to five weeks, depending on the product. A small amount of joint fluid is removed first to make room for the hyaluronic acid. Arthrocentesis is the removal of joint fluid through a hollow needle inserted into the joint space of the knee. After fluid withdrawal, the same puncture site can be used to inject a corticosteroid preparation of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint to relieve pain and inflammation. Ultrasound guidance ensures that the injection is precise and goes directly into the inflamed joint.  


Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found ultrasound guidance improved the accuracy of needle placement in the knee to 96%, versus 78% for injections guided by anatomy. DOC uses ultrasound guidance for injection therapy at every DOC location.


DOC diagnoses, prevents, treats, and manages musculoskeletal conditions. Patient guests have the benefit of immediate access to orthopedic specialists for accurate injection therapy if necessary based on health history, imaging tests and evaluation of conservative treatment options.  

For more information on the cost of care, click here.


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