Osteoarthritis is a common cause of hip and hip joint pain. Hip arthritis (osteoarthritis) usually presents symptoms in the groin and buttocks. Pain is often described as aching and throbbing and may become sharp or severe with hip movement.

Intra-articular Hip Joint Injection

An intra-articular hip joint injection may be diagnostic and therapeutic. Some patients are referred to The Spine and Pain Institute of New York by their orthopaedist or orthopaedic surgeon for injection. The diagnostic benefits of an intra-articular hip joint injection include determining if pain is generated by the hip joint, back, and/or sacroiliac joint.

The procedure is performed using fluoroscopy (real time x-ray) that enables the pain management specialist to visualize the hip joint. A thin needle is guided to the joint and a small amount of contrast dye is injected to see inside the joint space followed by a local anesthetic.

If the local anesthetic relieves hip pain then the hip socket is the likely pain source. An injection of a steroid medication may provide prolonged pain relief.

Intra-articular hip joint injections are a low risk, quick and effective treatment to relieve pain. The duration of pain relief depends on many things including the degree of underlying structural damage (i.e. osteoarthritis). Of course, patients are unique and what works well for one may not be as effective in someone else.

Other Purposes

An intra-articular hip joint injection may be performed to delay hip replacement surgery, as an alternative to surgical repair of labral – hip cartilage tears, and treat sprains or strains caused by sports or trauma. Sometimes the cause of hip pain is unknown and is termed idiopathic.

It is a low risk and fast method of obtaining pain relief. The duration of relief depends on the degree of underlying damage, but typically cannot be estimated as patients respond differently to treatments.

Additional Information

An intra-articular hip injection is not the same as a trochanteric bursa injection, often performed to treat hip bursitis. The trochanteric bursa injection can be performed without fluoroscopic guidance (blindly) by palpating the greater trochanter and injecting medicine through a needle into the bursa. The intra-articular hip injection is specific and the needle is accurately guided using real time x-ray (fluoroscopy).

To Learn More

If you have hip pain, or are interested in learning about treatment options to manage your pain, please contact our pain management experts at the California Spine and Pain Institute. We would be happy to make an appointment for a consultation and provide additional information about other treatment options.

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