First, you will have a consultation with the pain specialist. Once he determines that you are a candidate for the injection, he will schedule your procedure. If you are taking any medications, such as blood pressure medications or blood thinners, you will need to discuss this with the doctor to determine whether or not to continue with them prior to the procedure. If you are diabetic, the doctor will need to know that as this injection may cause a rise in blood sugar several days after the procedure. You must have someone with you after the procedure to drive you home. The injection is usually quick, only several minutes for each side. The skin is numbed with a small amount of local anesthetic (lidocaine). Once the numbing medication is given, there is little or no pain during the injection. Although sedation is usually not necessary, a small amount of sedation can be given for an anxious patient. The needle is placed in the joint under X-ray and the medication is then given. You will have a brief recovery and will then be discharged home with your driver.
There is literally no cartilage left in my knees. I have been getting corticosteroid /steroid injections for about 4 years, every 4 or 5 months. My last two didn't seem to work as well but the injection do make a huge difference. I go from descending stairs one at a time with a death grip on the handrail to being able to carefully go down without handrails. Side effects for me are headache and insomnia for a few days. Next I hope to get insurance to approve hyaluronate gel injections. Several names make up the 'Visc' drug. It is known to last longer than steroid injections. Stay upright everyone and stretch those joint muscles.