Arthritis is a general term, which, using its strict definition means joint inflammation. There are several different types of arthritis, but the one we most commonly get when we get older is osteoarthritis, which is caused simply by wear and tear in the joints.
All joints in the body undergo varying degrees of wear and tear and this can lead to pain and deformity. Where simple measures such as physiotherapy and simple analgesics cannot adequately control symptoms and yet patients want to avoid surgery, it may be appropriate to consider image-guided injections into the joints. The substances normally injected are long-acting steroids, such as Methyl Prednisolone or Triamcinolone; visco-supplementation by oral supplements; or by injecting preparations of Hyaluronic acid, such as Synvisc™, Durolane™, Hyalgan™ or Orthovisc™ into the affected joint(s). These injections can reduce pain for several months but can be associated with a short-term increase in inflammatory pain. Overall though, many patients find them useful.