Hip, Knee & Shoulder Joint Injections

Joint pain can be debilitating, restricting your mobility and affecting your quality of life. Whether it’s caused by an injury or a chronic condition like arthritis, effective treatment is necessary to relieve pain and restore function. One common treatment approach involves joint injections. These are particularly beneficial for treating pain in the hip, knee, and shoulder joints.

Understanding Joint Pain

Before diving into the specifics of joint injections, it’s crucial to understand why joints such as those in the hips, knees, and shoulders hurt. Joints are points where two or more bones meet, and they are designed to provide flexibility, support, and range of motion to the body. When joints become damaged or diseased, pain, inflammation, and stiffness can ensue, leading to reduced mobility and quality of life.

Joint pain can result from a variety of conditions. Arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, is one of the most common causes. Other possible causes include injuries, such as sprains and strains, bursitis, tendinitis, and gout. Chronic conditions like fibromyalgia can also lead to joint pain.

What are Joint Injections?

Joint injections are a common treatment for joint pain, particularly for the shoulders, hips, and knees. They involve injecting medication directly into the joint capsule to alleviate pain and inflammation. Joint injections can provide both therapeutic and diagnostic benefits. Therapeutically, they deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medications directly to the joint, which can provide substantial relief from pain. Diagnostically, if a joint injection leads to pain relief, it confirms that the joint is the source of the pain.

Types of Joint Injections

There are several types of joint injections that can be used to treat hip, knee, and shoulder pain:

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections, also known as corticosteroid injections, are a type of anti-inflammatory medication. They are   typically injected along with a local anaesthetic into the joint. Steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief for several weeks to months.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Viscosupplementation with hyaluronic acid can help lubricate and cushion joints, particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the joint fluid that helps cushion the joint. With osteoarthritis, the quality of hyaluronic acid in the joint can degrade. Injecting it into the joint can help improve joint lubrication, reduce pain, and improve mobility.

Are You a Candidate for Joint Injections?

Joint injections can be an effective way of managing joint pain, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. Ideal candidates for joint injections are individuals who have not responded to more conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. These injections are particularly beneficial for those experiencing shoulder, hip, and knee pain.

However, it’s important to note that while joint injections can provide substantial relief from pain, they aren’t a cure for the underlying condition causing the pain. They are a part of a broader treatment plan that may also include physical therapy, exercise, and self-care strategies.

Joint Injection for Knee Pain

  • Causes: Arthritis, sports injuries, wear and tear
  • Symptoms: Swelling, stiffness, reduced mobility
  • Diagnosing: Physical examination, X-ray, MRI
  • Type of Medication Used: Steroid, local anaesthetic, hyaluronic acid injections

Joint Injection for Hip Pain

  • Causes: Arthritis, trauma, degeneration, bursitis
  • Symptoms: Pain during movement, stiffness, difficulty walking
  • Diagnosing: X-ray, MRI, CT scan
  • Type of Medication Used: Steroid, local anaesthetic, hyaluronic acid injections

Joint Injection for Shoulder Pain

  • Causes: Rotator cuff tears, arthritis, tendinitis
  • Symptoms: Reduced range of motion, pain at rest, night pain
  • Diagnosing: Physical exam, ultrasound, MRI
  • Type of Medication Used: Steroid, local anaesthetic, hyaluronic acid injections

What Happens During a Joint Injection for Pain Relief?

Understanding what to expect during a joint injection can help alleviate any concerns you may have about the procedure. Whether you’re getting a hip, knee or shoulder joint injection, the process generally follows a similar set of steps to ensure both effectiveness and safety. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what usually happens:

  • Pre-Procedure Preparation: To ensure a smooth and less painful joint injection process, you are first positioned comfortably on the examination table. The targeted area around the joint is then thoroughly cleaned to minimise the risk of infection. A local anaesthetic is applied to numb the area, thereby making the procedure as comfortable as possible for you.
  • Injection: A fine needle is meticulously inserted into the joint capsule for the injection. Medication, which could include steroids, hyaluronic acid, or local anaesthetics, is then injected directly into the joint. 
  • Immediate Assessment: Following the injection, an immediate evaluation is conducted by your doctor to assess your initial response, as some individuals may experience instant relief from pain.
  • Post-Injection Care: Area may be iced to minimise swelling. You are observed for a short period for any immediate side effects or complications.

It’s important to note that some people might not experience instant relief, as the effectiveness of the injection can vary from person to person. Based on the initial response to the treatment, further evaluation or subsequent treatments may be scheduled.

Are there any risks to joint injections?

  • Infection: Risk of infection at the injection site.
  • Bleeding or Bruising: Especially a concern for patients on blood-thinners.
  • Allergic Reaction: To the medication used, although rare.
  • Increased Pain: Flare-up of joint pain following the injection, which is usually temporary
  • Nerve Damage: Though extremely rare, it is a potential risk.
  • Adverse Effects on Skin and Soft Tissue: Such as thinning or lightening of the skin

Note that while joint injections, including hip, knee, and shoulder joint injection, are generally considered safe, it’s crucial to consult your pain medicine physician for a full understanding of the potential risks tailored to your medical history.

Hip, Knee, and Shoulder Joint Injection Aftercare

  • Immediate Rest: Avoid strenuous activity for a few days.
  • Ice the Area: To reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Monitor for Symptoms: Such as redness, increased swelling, or increased pain.
  • Pain Medication: Over-the-counter medication may be recommended.
  • Follow-up Appointment: Scheduled to assess the effectiveness and plan next steps.
  • Physical Therapy: May be recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Aftercare varies depending on the type of joint injection received and your overall health. Always follow the specific aftercare instructions provided by your healthcare provider to ensure optimal recovery and effectiveness of the treatment.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you’re struggling with persistent joint pain in areas such as your shoulders, hips, or knees, joint injections might be an effective treatment option for you. Contact our experienced specialists at The Pain Clinic today to schedule a consultation. We’re committed to helping you alleviate your pain and regain your mobility, enabling you to live a healthier, more active life.

Our clinic is under the following insurance panels

We work with various insurance partners to assist with your hospitalisation and surgery claims. In some instances, pre-approval from your insurer allows direct billing between the hospital and insurer so that you will have peace of mind during your treatment. We are accredited by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), so you may also utilise Medisave for your hospitalisation expenses.

Screenshot 2022-12-15 130840

Meet Our Doctor

Dr Ho Kok Yuen is a specialist in pain medicine and anaesthesia. He completed his pain management fellowship at Duke University Hospital in USA in 2006. He is involved in teaching, research and also serves on numerous advisory boards. Besides writing articles in peer-reviewed journals, clinical practice and consensus guidelines, as well as book chapters on pain and anaesthesia, he lectures at international conferences and teaches at interventional pain workshops frequently.

Dr Ho Kok Yuen obtained his MBBS and Master of Medicine (Anaesthesiology) from the National University of Singapore. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine (GDSM) from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMed) at Nanyang Technological University.

  • Diplomate, American Academy of Pain Management (DAAPM)
  • European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM), European Society of Regional Anaesthesia (ESRA)
  • European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM), European Pain Federation EFIC
  • Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMed)
  • Chairman, Chapter of Pain Medicine Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore
  • Council Member, College of Anaesthesiologists, Academy of Medicine, Singapore
  • Chairman, South-East Asian Section, World Institute of Pain (WIP)
  • Fellow, Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP) with the WIP
  • Examiner, FIPP Examinations
  • Fellow, Academy of Medicine, Singapore (FAMS)
  • Past President, The Pain Association of Singapore (2011-2017)
  • Past Vice-President, Association for South-East Asian Pain Societies (ASEAPS) (2012-2013)

Dr Ho Kok Yuen is widely recognised as an expert in minimally invasive interventional pain management, having performed thousands of such surgeries. He treats persistent and severe pain using therapies such as steroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, intrathecal drug delivery and spinal cord stimulation.

The first physician in Asia to perform cooled radiofrequency ablation, he has been treating spine, sacroiliac joint, hip, and knee pain using this technique since 2006. He also administers spinal infusions to ensure pain-free end-of-life comfort care for patients with advanced terminal cancer pain.

When Boston Scientific launched its most advanced SCS system – the WaveWriter Alpha™ – in Southeast Asia, Dr Ho Kok Yuen was the first doctor to perform the implant surgery. SCS uses electrical impulses to block pain signals in the spinal cord, effectively treating intractable back pain, leg pain and neuropathic pain. SCS therapy has helped hundreds and thousands of people around the world improve their quality of life.

Frequency Asked Questions About Joint Injections

Joint injection is a medical procedure where medication is injected directly into a joint to alleviate pain and inflammation. They are often used for conditions affecting major joints such as the hip, knee, and shoulder. The injected medication usually includes a corticosteroid, which is an anti-inflammatory drug, and a local anaesthetic to numb the joint.

Joint injections are typically used to treat a range of conditions that cause joint pain and inflammation. These include various forms of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, and gout. Joint injections are particularly effective in treating pain in the shoulder, hip, and knee joints. They may also be used when other treatment methods, such as medication or physical therapy, have not provided sufficient relief.

The level of discomfort during a joint injection can vary from person to person. However, it’s usually minimal. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area around the joint before the injection, which helps reduce any pain. The needle used for the injection is also very fine to cause as little discomfort as possible. Some patients may experience a feeling of pressure or slight stinging during the injection, but this is usually temporary. After the procedure, there might be some soreness in the joint for a few hours, but this typically subsides as the medication begins to take effect.


No products in the cart.