What intra-articular infiltration procedure is about?
Intra-articular Infiltrations are those drug injections that are given directly into the joints. Their role is to treat pain and swelling of the joints in the knees, hips or shoulder.
The intra-articular infiltration procedure can be performed by a specialist rehabilitation physician, rheumatologist or orthopedic physician. It is a procedure that is performed relatively quickly. Also, it is minimally invasive and is performed under the supervision of the specialist. This category of infiltration may be the optimal treatment option for patients who are experiencing persistent joint pain and have not had a positive response to other types of treatment such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or physiotherapy.
At the same time it should be noted that they are not indicated in all types of joint diseases and there are certain risks such as infections or damage to the neighboring tissues. Only after a discussion with the physician in our clinic the final decision on intra-articular infiltration will be made and the treatment will be recommended.
Medical conditions where intra-articular infiltrations are recommended
Among the medical conditions for which the intra-articular infiltrations procedure is recommended are the following:
- Arthritis – a condition described by joint inflammation that causes pain, limited movement and stiffness at the joint level. Infiltrations can reduce inflammation and pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Bursitis – is a condition caused by inflammation of the bursa, a small sac that is filled with fluid and is located near the joints. This disorder causes local discomfort and pain in the shoulder, elbow or knee.
- Tendonitis – causes pain and difficulty in movement due to tendon inflammation, and intra-articular infiltrations can help fighting against the inflammatory process and thus relieve the pain.
- Arthrosis – is a medical condition that involves damage of the joint cartilage where symptoms are pain, joint stiffness and sounds caused by joint movements.
- Shoulder impingement syndrome – is a manifestation of discomfort and pain in the shoulder, a condition caused by the tendon or bursa compression.
Types of intra-articular infiltrations
Based on the diagnosed disorder and the general state of health, a patient affected by such problems may find a solution using intra-articular infiltrations. Depending on the substance or drug used for infiltration, there are several types of intra-articular infiltrations.
The first category is the infiltration with corticosteroids and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which have the role of reducing inflammation and pain specific to joint diseases.
The second type is hyaluronic acid infiltration. Hyaluronic acid is found in the human body, and its role is precisely to maintain elasticity in the tissues. Infiltrations based on hyaluronic acid help to protect and lubricate joints that are experiencing certain disorders.
Finally, we have the platelet enriched plasma (PRP) infiltration which involves the use of plasma obtained from the patient’s own blood which is then enriched with platelets. The decision on the type of substance or medication is chosen by the medical specialist following the patient’s evaluation.