Cortisone and steroids are an anti-inflammatory hormone produced naturally in your body. Injectable forms of cortisone are used to provide rapid reductions in pain, swelling, and inflammation, which can be used for short-term control of joint discomfort.
One injection typically has few negative consequences, but multiple injections into the same area over a short period of time are not recommended. We prefer to wait at least 3-6 months between cortisone injections.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma and is the concentration of beneficial healing proteins in your blood. Due to its high concentration of healing proteins, it can help speed up the healing process. The procedure involves taking a small amount of blood from your arm, then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the blood into different layers. The plasma, which has a high concentration of platelets and healing proteins, is then injected into the affected area of the body.
It’s still being researched, so it’s not covered by insurance, but studies have shown it to be especially effective for tendon injuries and osteoarthritis.
Viscosupplementation (VS) Injections
Viscosity supplementation is a procedure in which hyaluronic acid is injected into a joint. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant found in healthy knees, but is reduced in knees with mild to moderate osteoarthritis.
Injections are typically given 1 to 3 times over several weeks and can provide relief of arthritis symptoms for several months. This can be repeated. It is FDA-approved for the knee, but can also be used in other joints with good results. It is not covered by insurance.