A joint injection is the injection of medication (typically a corticosteroid) into the joint space that is causing pain. A joint is a part of the body where two bones connect. The endings of the bone where the joint is formed are covered with cartilage that allows pain-free movement. This area is surrounded by muscles, ligaments and tendons. When the cartilage in the joint is damaged or affected by a disease like arthritis or TMJ, the joints become stiff and can cause pain.
A joint injection can reduce tissue swelling in the joint and surrounding areas, alleviating pain and other symptoms.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A JOINT INJECTION PROCEDURE
Depending on the joint that is being injected, the patient may be asked to lie down (e.g. for hip, ankle or toe joints) or be asked to remain in a seated position (e.g. for shoulder and jaw joints).
For the procedure, the doctor will insert a needle into the affected joint and inject the medication. To make the procedure more comfortable, local anesthetic may be used beforehand to numb the skin and tissues around.
Joint injections typically take a few minutes to perform and are done on an outpatient basis. The patient may feel immediate pain relief due to the anesthetic, but that will wear off a few hours after the procedure. The steroid will likely start working after three days, but it may take longer.
More specifically, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injections are a corticosteroid injection into the jaw joint. These types of joint injections help in the reduction of pain in the temporomandibular joint area. This is associated with pain while chewing, talking or yawning. This procedure can also help those suffering from chronic jaw pain.
The Joint injections are used to ease joint pain and reduce joint inflammation which includes swelling, heat, and redness.
Pain relief will last between several days to a few months.