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Infiltration of the knee


Infiltration is a technique used to inject liquid into the body, more specifically in a tissue or in a joint. Infiltration of the knee makes use of products containing corticosteroids and is performed directly into the joint. The objective is to put the drug directly in contact with the area that needs treatment. This type of treatment is usually very effective in certain joint diseases and is widely used in sports medicine, where injuries and inflammation of the knee are common. This medication is also used in certain inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, a condition affecting the meniscus or cartilage. So-called visco-supplementation injections are sometimes made in the context of pain associated with osteoarthritis.


The injection of corticosteroids can quickly calm pain due to inflammation of the knee joint. Infiltration will not need to be repeated too regularly thanks to the small crystals contained in the injected drug. The latter will gradually dissolve throughout the week following the injection, which allows for a prolonged action. However, when poorly injected, these crystals can be a source of pain for 1 or 2 days. It is then necessary to take anti-inflammatory drugs until the infiltration takes effect. The effects of these injections are nevertheless transient and usually last for only a few weeks.

Course of the infiltration

The infiltration is performed in different ways depending on the area being treated. In all cases, it is important to first disinfect the area in question. The doctor will then prepare a needle and syringe and inject the product into the desired area. If the injection is well done, it is only slightly painful. A small bandage is placed immediately on the site of the injection and should be kept on for several hours.

Side Effects

Although relatively rare, side effects do exist. They include:
  • sweating, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, palpitations;
  • flush (facial redness accompanied by headache);
  • infection (the most dangerous but also the rarest side effect).

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