A hip steroid injection is an outpatient procedure done in radiology. The hip steroid injection often provides relief for a painful hip.
What is a hip steroid injection?
Indications for a steroid injection of the hip?
Usually pain, most commonly from arthritis. Sometimes I see the procedure done to see if a patients pain is coming from the hip. The idea being that the steroid injection will offer relief if the pain arises from the hip.
Are you sedated for a hip injection?
No. You are awake during the procedure. Only local anesthetic is used.
Hip steroid injection technique
You will check into radiology for your appointment and often change into a gown.
The technologist will ask you about any allergies you have. They will ask what medications you take. They will also explain the procedure.
They will then take you to the radiology suite where the live x ray or fluoroscopy machine is located. You will be positioned laying down on the procedure table.
The radiologist will explain the procedure to you including any potential complications. These are rare but can include allergies, bleeding, infection and pain after the procedure.
The radiologist will mark the site of the injection on your hip. He will clean the area with something like betadine. He will place a drape over the area where the procedure is done. He will numb the area with an anesthetic. This will be around the skin at the site of injection and deep to it.
The procedure itself should be painless and you should only feel pressure. The radiologist will then advance a thin needle into your hip joint using the live X-ray machine for guidance.
Once the radiologist reaches the joint, a small amount of contrast will be injected to make sure the needle is in the joint. Once this is confirmed, the mixture containing the steroid and anesthetic is injected.
The total amount injected is small, often 5-10 cc. Sometimes patients complain of pain or fullness during the injection but this is short lived. After the procedure, the area will be cleaned and bandaged.
Will My pain go away after the procedure?
Many patients feel immediate relief or decrease of their pain. Some others may initially get worse only to get better days later. There are some patients who don’t experience much relief. This may be because the pain you are feeling is not coming from the hip. Even if this is the case, this will help your doctor with further testing and treatment.
How long does a hip injection take?
The procedure usually takes under 15 minutes. The check in and preparation may take longer.
Does a hip steroid injection hurt?
It should not. You may feel pressure during the procedure. If you feel sharp or stabbing pains, then the radiologist should stop and give you more local anesthetic.
Hip injection complications
I rarely see complications or problems with this procedure.
If you experience a fever, warmth or redness in the hip, then you should call your doctor and go to the emergency room. This may mean you have an infected hip which requires emergency treatment.
Allergies are extremely rare in my experience and are usually not severe.
Bleeding is minor and can be stopped with pressure.
Numbness of the groin or thigh will often go away after a day.
Hip injection benefits
A hip steroid injection may provide relief and buy you some time before you get definitive treatment for your condition.
Hip injection recovery
Take it easy with your hip the day of the procedure. You may resume normal activities the next day. If the shot helps, then you may come back for another. Eventually you will need definitive treatment for the underlying condition. In many cases this involves a hip replacement if you have bad arthritis.
Hip steroid injection: summary
A hip steroid injection is done to provide temporary relief of a painful hip. This is an outpatient procedure done in radiology. You stay awake during the procedure. The procedure is done by a radiologist who will place the steroid into your hip joint. He uses fluoroscopy or live X-ray to guide the needle into the hip joint. Many patients have some degree of relief of their pain.