Hip Injections

X-ray Guided Hip Injections

X-ray Guided Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Ultrasound Guided Hip Injections

Hip joint injections involve injecting medication directly into the hip joint to diagnose the source of pain or treat pain due to conditions such as arthritis or labral tear.  The injection usually contains a combination of a numbing medicine and cortisone (an anti-inflammatory agent). Numbing medicine delivers temporary relief from pain, provided the hip joint is the source of the pain. It thus also serves a diagnostic function and helps to confirm whether or not the joint is the source of pain. Cortisone serves to reduce the inflammation in the joint providing long term pain benefit.  The length of pain relief from an injection varies from patient to patient but averages 4-6 weeks.


If needed, a relaxing medicine is given to the patient through an IV line. The patient lies face down on an X-ray table. The small area where the injection is to be given is numbed with an anesthetic. The patient may feel a sting for a few seconds. A small needle is then accurately placed by the doctor into the joint guided by the real-time X-ray or ultrasound images.  A combination of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory cortisone is then slowly injected into the joint. The whole procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes.

After the procedure

After the injection, patients are encouraged to slowly return to activities as tolerated.  Pain relief from the numbing medicine usually begins within a few minutes but wears off after a few hours.  Relief from the cortisone usually begins 3-4 days after injection.  Patients may be more sore for the first few days after injection and are encouraged to apply ice and take anti-inflammatories or Tylenol to help with the pain.

Risk and complications

The possible risks of hip injections include: swelling and pain in the joint after the injection, infection, depigmentation of skin, local thinning of the skin and rupture of a tendon.  In rare cases, the hip joint may become infected after an injection. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns about problems from the injection.

If the injected hip joint is the source of the pain, the pain may reduce two to five days after the injection. However, if no improvement is found within ten days after the injection further diagnostic tests may be required to ascertain the cause of pain.