Knee Injection

This procedure involves using a needle and syringe to deliver medication into a knee joint.

This procedure involves using a needle and syringe to deliver medication into a knee joint.

A knee injection involves using a needle and syringe to deliver medication into a knee joint. It is done to ease pain associated with arthritis or other inflammations of the joint.

  • Injections may contain a drug to numb the pain (anesthetic), a steroid to reduce inflammation or both.
  • An anesthetic gives relief right away, but it may only last a few hours.
  • Steroid medicine usually gives longer pain relief.
  • Other types of injections use hyaluronic acid; a gel-like substance that helps lubricate the joint. This may make joint movement easier and less painful. However, studies on the benefits of hyaluronic acid injection have yielded conflicting results.

A knee injection may be recommended if your pain is not relieved by other treatment options (i.e., over-the-counter or prescription pain medications, rest, exercises or weight loss if you are overweight). No more than three to four steroid injections are recommended per year.

  • Injections usually take only a few minutes.
  • There may be some pain associated with the injection. Also, you may not get immediate pain relief after a steroid injection.
  • If an anesthetic is used, you may experience pain relief soon after the injection.
  • Your physician may suggest that you rest for a short period of time before returning to your normal activities.

If your knee pain is not resolved by using self-care measures, contact your healthcare provider.

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • Write down any questions, symptoms or concerns you want to talk about.

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.

  • What is my causing my symptoms? Why are you recommending a knee injection? Are there any alternatives? What are the pros and cons of each?
  • What are the pros and cons of a hyaluronic acid injection? Will I be receiving a series of injections or just one?
  • When might I start to see improvement in my symptoms?
  • After the injection can I exercise or should I modify my activity?
  • What tests do I need? What is the reason for those tests? Will the test results change my treatment plan?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?

After your injection, make sure you understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.


Also known as:

Knee Pain
Knee Injection
Joint Pain
Injection of Knee
Hyaluronic Acid
Cortisone Shot
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