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The doctor puts an injection into the patient's knee joint. A shot in the knee.jpg



Injections are provided for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. 

They can reduce the inflammation and pain within a joint, as well as the associated swelling in the soft tissues near a joint.

 Risks of the Procedure

As with all procedures, a joint and soft tissue injections carry some risks and complications:

  • ​Most common:

    • Facial flushing - reddening of the face that may very occasionally occur. It usually disappears in 24-48h and is not uncomfortable.

    • Skin changes - slight discolouration due to depigmentation. Thinning of the skin can occur at the site of repeated injections.

    • Post-injection flare - a temporary worsening of pain associated with sone localised warmth and swelling.​

  • Rare:

    • Infection - ​notify Mr. White, your GP, and/or seek immediate medical attention if you develop any warmth, swelling, redness, or pain that does not settle, or you feel unwell with a high temperature.

    • Nerve damage - often transient and due to the effects of local anaesthetic block.

    • Worsening of diabetic control - if you are diabetic, the steroid can temporarily upset your glucose control. 

    • Tendon rupture - this a very rare complication.

    • Allergy - another very rare complication, but can occur within minutes of an injection and we have full medical facilities to hand.

The Procedure

The injection usually comprises two main ingredients:

  • Local anaesthetic to provide immediate pain control

  • Corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effects that provide longer term pain control and reduction of swelling.

 After the Injection

You should avoid vigorous activity for 48 hours after the injection.​

A few patients report increased stiffness and pain for 24-48 hours, but this often settles quickly.

The small dressing can be removed after 24 hours.

Keep a record of your pain control with a pain diary. It is often useful to note your pain relief at 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks, and 2 months after your injection.

Repeat Injections

 If the injection has worked well, and provided a satisfactory duration of pain control, then they can repeated every 3 to 4 months. As a general rule, up to 3 injections can be repeated per year into a joint.

There is a small risk that frequent injections can cause cartilage damage, especially in weight bearing joints like the hip and knee.


Milton Way



Secretary: Julie Bell


Telephone: 01733 842309


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North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT)
I Want Great Care Reviews for Mr Jonathan White
Fitzwilliam Hospital, Peterborough
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