Steroid (Cortisone) Injections
What are they?
Corticosteroid injections help reduce and interrupt the process of inflammation in your joint. The reduction in inflammatory chemicals in your joint helps reduce pain. The result is a temporary reduction of pain, and an increase in your activity levels.
Approximately 80% of patients will report reduction of their joint pain with this treatment. This will last anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months with most receiving pain relief for about 6 weeks but results are variable.
In conclusion, steroid injections can provide short-term pain relief for arthritis.
An average patient can receive up to three cortisone injections per year. If you are a diabetic, you will need approval from your primary care doctor or endocrinologist before receiving cortisone. If you are on blood thinners, you will need to contact Dr.Daley's assistant who will assist in scheduling your injection.
Hyaluronic (Gel) Injections
Examples: Gel-One, Synvisc, Euflexxa
What are they?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the fluid in your joint called synovial fluid. As you age, your body slowly loses this vital component, which can help lead to arthritis. Luckily, we can replace this hyaluronic acid with a substitute. This hyaluronic product can be derived from rooster combs or synthetically. The gel injections help to lubricate the joint, leading to reduction in pain and an increase in function.
Most patients slowly see improvement in symptoms but the injection may take 6-8 weeks to achieve results. In general, the results can by summarized as: 1/3 of the patients have great pain relief that lasts 6-12 months, 1/3 of the patients have no symptom relief, and 1/3 of the patients have some relief.
In conclusion, hyaluronic injections take a longer time to work and have a slightly lower success rate than cortisone, but tend to provide longer lasting symptom relief when they do work.