Because the hip joint is quite deep and tight, a long thin needle is used. A special x-ray is utilized for guidance in properly targeting and placing the needle, and for avoiding nerve or other injury.
Once the needle appears to be in the correct position, several drops of contrast dye are then injected to make sure that the tip of the needle is actually inside the hip joint. A small mixture of local anaesthetic to give rapid pain relief plus a steroid which acts as a very powerful anti-inflammatory is often injected into the joint.
Hip injections are normally done as a quick day-case procedure with the patients awake and they are able to go home 30-60 minutes after the procedure.
Patients may or may not obtain pain relief in the first few hours after the injection, depending upon whether or not the joint that was injected is the main source of the patient’s pain. On occasion, the patient may feel numb or experience a slightly weak or odd feeling in the leg for a few hours after the injection.