Intra-articular Knee Injections

What are intra-articular knee injections?

An intra-articular knee injection involves administering medication into the knee to resolve pain and stiffness in the joint. Intra-articular knee injections are recommended when knee pain fails to subside even after implementing conservative treatment measures such as cold therapy, anti-inflammatories, exercise modification and physical therapy.

Different types of intra-articular knee injections include:

  • Hyaluronic acid-based knee injections minimise knee pain and improve the motion of the joint because hyaluronic acid is a natural joint fluid that functions as a shock absorber.
  • Corticosteroid knee injections are proven to reduce inflammation within the joint. Corticosteroids circumvent the production of inflammatory cells released in response to an injury or arthritis.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) knee injection alleviates knee pain and promotes tissue regeneration.

How does Dr van Niekerk administer an intra-articular knee injection?

Intra-articular knee injections may be delivered using various techniques. For example, Dr van Niekerk may ask that you remain in a seated position or lie flat on your back. Then, Dr van Niekerk inserts the needle into the knee, where he releases medication. At times, ultrasound imaging may be required to help guide the needle in the correct position within the knee. In some cases, he withdraws a sample of joint fluid to create more room for the medication from the injection. In order to complete the procedure, Dr van Niekerk will have to apply a dressing over the site where he inserted the needle.

What can I expect in terms of recovery?

Dr van Niekerk will provide you with specific postoperative instructions to aid in your recovery. For example, it is strongly advised to avoid strenuous exercise for a few days after the procedure. Furthermore, you are allowed to apply ice to the site to alleviate pain. Finally, he will recommend rest, taking the prescribed medications and elevating the leg, specifically the knee, to reduce pain and swelling. In the meantime, for exercise, you can engage in a light range of motion exercises until you heal completely.


What does an intra-articular knee injection contain?

The substance administered to the knee depends on what needs to be treated. For example, the injection can contain hyaluronic acid to lubricate the joint or corticosteroids to alleviate inflammation in the knee.

Will I feel any pain?

You may experience slight discomfort when Dr van Niekerk inserts the injection into the knee.

Are there risks involved?

No procedure is left without any risks. Although rare, risks include infection at the needle site and an adverse reaction to the injection. Fortunately, Dr van Niekerk will discuss these risks and help rule this out before the procedure.

Why do I need an intra-articular knee injection?

Dr van Niekerk will recommend an intra-articular knee injection for osteoarthritis of the knee, gout and rheumatoid arthritis.