Question: “Steroid” or “Gel” injection for my arthritic knee joint?
Many of our patients receive corticosteroid or steroid injections as part of their treatment plan for knee arthritis. Another common name that is frequently used is “a Cortisone injection”. Along with administration of the steroid medicine, it was mixed with an anesthetic or numbing medicine which may give temporary relief for 1-4 hours. When the anesthetic wears off, it may take between 2-10 days for the steroid to become fully effective in relieving inflammatory pain. If you are diabetic and you check your blood sugar levels, be aware that the steroid injection may temporarily elevate levels for 1-5 days. If they remain elevated, please contact your Primary Care Physician. The duration of pain relief following steroid injections varies greatly between patients.
Another type of injection that patients may receive is a viscosupplementation (gel-like fluid) injection comprised of hyaluronic acid. The brand name for this injection is Synvisc-One. You should be able to resume your normal day to day activities following this type of injection. Viscosupplementation injections are given on a patient to patient basis and will be discussed with your provider. Everyone responds differently to this injection, most patients begin to feel relief 3-4 weeks after the injection is administered, but can take up to 6 weeks. Duration of relief is also variable, but the injection is considered successful if it lasts for at least 6 months.