Joint pain can be both very unpleasant and prevent you doing everyday things such as walking, writing, exercise or sport.

The injection of steroids (possibly mixed with a local anaesthetic) into the joint can provide rapid pain relief for several weeks or months. You will usually be sedated (given a calming drug) but occasionally people are asleep during the procedure following a general anaesthetic.

Why you might need it

Injury or arthritis can cause debilitating pain that affects your enjoyment of life. As well as being in pain, joint pain can prevent you from taking part in everyday activities like:

  • exercise or sport
  • playing with your children and family
  • driving
  • using computers for work or leisure.

A joint injection can provide relief from pain. Some people enjoy this relief for several months while others require new injections every few weeks.

Your expert consultant may also inject a local anaesthetic, mixed with the steroid in the same syringe. Local anaesthetic drugs block the way nerves carry pain signals to your brain. This provides instant pain relief at the time of the injection. If your consultant only injects steroids you will feel the full benefit after a few days.

The procedure takes around 20 minutes, including time for a sedative to take effect.

We have modern, well-equipped hospitals and practice some of the latest, advanced medical treatments. We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other care that you may need to help ease your joint pain, like physiotherapy, for your procedure.

If you decide to have your procedure with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

We understand that having any medical procedure, even one as relatively straightforward as a joint injection, can cause anxiety. Our professional and caring medical staff will be there to reassure you throughout.

Once the sedation has taken affect and you're feeling very calm, your expert consultant will feel and flex the joint. If you have arthritis your consultant may need to draw out fluid through a needle before injecting the medication.

An X-ray machine is likely to be positioned over the joint to help guide the consultant to the exact spot for the steroid injection. Your consultant will insert a thin needle into the joint and the steroid (and local anaesthetic if one is being used) will be injected. Your consultant may make more than one injection in the same session if appropriate.

The whole procedure, including sedation, takes around 20 minutes.


After the procedure, you will be taken to your own recovery room or a dedicated recovery area where you can relax in comfort until you’re able to go home - generally half an hour.

If a local anaesthetic was injected with the steroids the pain should disappear immediately. Otherwise you should feel the full benefit after a few days.

Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

But everyone is different. If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire South Bank Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Make an enquiry


Common hand problems

Date: 12 February 2018 Time: 18:30

Affected by painful, tender or aching hands and wrists?

Come along to our free information evening to speak to our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Ms Anna Moon about common hand problems.

Common hand problems

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.