Joint pain is one of the leading causes for a visit to an orthopedist. Joints in the upper and lower extremities can become painful and swollen. The pain can hinder an individual’s ability to carry out even the simplest tasks such as walking, dressing, grooming, driving, or basic household activities. Depending upon your diagnosis after a radiological assessment, your orthopedist may make recommendations such as rest, ice, bracing, physical therapy or possibly an injection as a conservative means to address the condition.
The thought of an injection into any joint may seem daunting; however, an experienced orthopedist will be able to assess and administer the injection with accuracy and ease. With over 20 years of experience our orthopedic specialists, Dr. Elliott Hinkes and Dr. Bruce Fletcher, have an extensive scope of knowledge and familiarity which enables them to administer injections with precision into the most beneficial location to address your symptoms.
Our injection process is comprised of two injections with the initial being an anesthetic which normally feels like a small pinch and burn lasting approximately 5 seconds. This initial injection numbs the skin. The second injection is the actual agent. Patients will experience more of a pressure type sensation while the second injection is being administered. Regardless of comfort level, we can accommodate each individual’s comfort level and make the experience as relaxing and pain free as possible.
Benefits of injections and conditions they address:
Injections are basically utilized to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation and/or mimicking the body’s depleted joint cushion from conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis. Commonly the injections are administered in the large joints of the shoulder and knee; however, they also are beneficial for additional regions such as the fingers, wrists, elbow, foot, low back, or neck. After the injection patients can continue with daily activities but we recommend limiting any strenuous activity for a couple of days and encourage the application of ice to the injection site if there is any discomfort. Injection effectiveness begins usually in 2 to 3 days and progresses over the next 3 to 4 weeks. The duration of relief varies depending upon the severity of the condition and the patient’s individual response to the medication. The variation can be anywhere from a few weeks up to a year or more.
Types of injections:
Corticosteroid / Cortisone: The most commonly administered injection for rapid relief of pain and inflammation is a cortisone injection. Side effects from this medication can include soreness around the injection site, swelling, and a short term increase in sugar levels for diabetic patients. Cortisone can be administered 3 to 4 times a year and is beneficial for arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, and some muscle related ailments. Bracing and physical therapy may also be recommended in combination with the injection to provide improvement in symptoms.
Synvisc / Euflexxa (hyaluronic acid): Normal joint fluid consists of a substance referred to as hyaluronan. This fluid acts as both a lubricant and a shock absorber in the joint allowing the cartilage of the bones to glide smoothly over each other. Patients suffering from arthritis can experience deterioration of the cartilage which protects the ends of the bone resulting in a loss of natural joint fluids. In order to replicate the absent fluid and provide a cushion, hyaluronic injections may be recommended. Some forms of hyaluronic acid, such as Synvisc, are developed utilizing processed rooster combs and should not be administered to patients with egg or poultry allergies. An alternative would be Euflexxa, which is derived from a non-bird source and is deemed safe to use in people with an egg allergy. Injections are administered once a week for a period of 3 to 5 weeks depending upon the brand. Hyaluronic injections are currently approved only for the knee joint and may provide a solution if other methods of conservative therapy have failed.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): While blood is made of a liquid, plasma, there is also a small component of white and red cells along with platelets. These platelets are important because not only do they clot the blood but they contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are important in healing injuries. In order to obtain a high concentration of platelets, blood is drawn from the patient and the platelets are separated from the other blood cells. The vial of blood is inserted into a centrifuge machine which spins at such a high rate of speed that a separation occurs resulting in a section of platelet rich plasma with a concentration 5 to 10 times that of normal blood. This resulting PRP is injected into the affected area providing a nonsurgical healing treatment utilizing the patient’s own blood to encourage healing.
There is no need to suffer with joint pain that reduces the quality of life and the ability to participate in enjoyable activities. Northwest Broward Orthopedics is conveniently located on 441 in Margate, FL and serve patients of all ages in the Coral Springs, Boca, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Parkland, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and adjacent outlying areas. We are in network with most major insurances and are currently accepting new patients. Contact Northwest Broward Orthopedics and schedule an appointment to discuss the best option to provide relief for your current condition with one of our board certified orthopedists.
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