Hardwick Clinic


Hardwick Medical, Hardwick, Cambridge

Hardwick Clinic

Medical Treatments

Joint Injections (PRP or Steroid)

Joint injections involve treatment of painful or swollen joints by injection of either a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids. PRP is derived from a small quantity of your own blood to harvest platelets and growth factors to aid healing. These injections are used to treat swollen or painful joints, such as after an injury or in arthritis. The injection is performed by a doctor directly into the painful joint. This is also called an intra-articular injection. The joints most often injected are the shoulder, elbow, knee, hand/wrist and hip. These injections are also used to treat painful tendons and bursitis (when a small bag of fluid which cushions a joint gets inflamed). They're sometimes used to treat muscle pain when it's in a particular area. The injections usually help relieve pain and swelling, and make movement easier. The benefits can last for several months.

At Hardwick Medical Clinic we are CQC registered to perform Joint Injection treatments and have a number of Doctors with special training in this procedure.


To discuss booking a joint-injection procedure at Hardwick Medical Clinic, please contact our GP directly on: 07737002708

Steroid Injection

Injections of steroid medication can be given into the tissues to help with inflammatory conditions for example: bursitis (knee, elbow, wrist or shoulder), a tendon (tendinitis such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, frozen shoulder, and many other conditions and injuries.

What has been injected into my joints?

We usually inject a small amount of steroid. We often inject some local anaesthetic, which is a painkiller, into your joint. Your clinician will also decide whether to inject a local anaesthetic at the same time. This does not reduce inflammation but will allow almost immediate temporary pain relief.

How long will it be before my joints feel better?

The local anaesthetic will start to reduce your pain within a few minutes of the injection. This pain relief will last for 1-2 hours. The steroid will take longer to start working; sometimes it can be nearly 1-2 days after the injection before you start to feel better. The joint you have had injected will hopefully feel better for up to 3-6 months and sometimes longer, but everybody is different so it may not last this long.

Can I leave the clinic straight after the injection ?

Generally, you will be able to leave after your injection.

Complications of steroid joint injections

Complications are when problems occur during or after the procedure.

  • An infection – you may need treatment with antibiotics
  • Damage to the cartilage within your joint or tendons around it – this may be more likely the more injections you have
  • Importantly you should remember that if you have an infected joint it will not get better with the rest and ice packs we suggested. So if your joint feels like it is getting more and more painful and swollen please contact us.
  • If you have a high temperature and your joint becomes;
    • Hot
    • Red
    • Swollen
    • Painful
    Then you should contact us or your GP or go to the Accident and Emergency department if it is a weekend. Remember this is very unlikely to happen, the frequency of this complication is rare and estimated to lie between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 15,000 procedures.
  • Thinning or a change in the colour of your skin around the injection site – this tends to happen more often with stronger or repeated injections
  • Irregular periods in women, or vaginal bleeding even if you’re past the menopause changes in your mood – you may feel really good or very low


Certain unwanted but mostly temporary effects are possible after having the procedure. Side-effects of steroid joint injections may include: More pain and swelling in the injected area – this usually settles within a couple of days A flushed or red face – this usually only lasts for a few minutes but can last an hour or two.

Alternatives to a steroid joint injection

Alternatives treatments to steroid joint injections will depend on what’s causing your pain. They may include PRP injections, steroid tablets, anti-inflammatory and painkilling medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor about the options available to you.

PRP Joint Injection

PRP treatment is the procedure based on using growth and healing factors from your own blood to promote rejuvenation of muscular skeletal tissue. This therapy has been used in surgeries to promote cell regeneration since 1987. PRP therapy is used to treat the following muscular skeletal conditions.

  • Tennis elbow (common extensor tendinosis)
  • Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinosis)
  • Achilles tendinosis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Gluteal tendons
  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Knee MCL tears
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Thumb osteoarthritis

PRP treatment aims to:

  • Reduce pain
  • Improve joint/tendon function
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Slow, halt, or even repair damage to cartilage

What is Platelet-rich plasma?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy involves taking blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate, blood cells, platelets and plasma. The fraction containing platelets also contains growth factors and other essential factors for healing. Numerous important proteins are present in PRP: platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), platelet factor interleukin (IL), platelet-derived angiogenesis factor (PDAF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor IGF and fibronectin. Our methods harvest a very pure and concentrated PRP fraction containing these important growth and healing factors which can then be injected into the area of injury or inflammation where they can promote rejuvenation and healing.

How PRP is made

We extract PRP from a small quantity of your own blood, usually taken from the arm. During the treatment we draw blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate it into: blood cells, platelets and plasma. The blood cells are excluded and the remaining plasma and platelets are spun again in the centrifuge to produce a very concentrated mix of platelet-rich plasma containing growth and healing factors. The PRP we harvest from your own blood is then injected into the areas required.

prp process

How PRP Therapy works

Promoting Natural Healing in the muscular skeletal tissue. PRP therapy can help activate and promote healing. The high level of platelets and Growth Factors stimulates the body’s own natural healing capabilities, restoring normal tissue composition. PRP treatment can avoid the need for long term medication use, such as steroids and pain relive as well as surgery.

Pre-Injection Precautions

Stop taking aspirin or ibuprofen 7 days before the procedure. Drink plenty of fluids the day before the procedure.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections, Step-by-Step description

This is an in-clinic procedure that can take 20-30min. The procedure involves a blood draw, preparation of the PRP, and the injection:

  • Blood is drawn from a vein in the patient's arm into a vial (typically 20 mL)
  • The blood is processed using a centrifuge machine
  • A doctor prepares the centrifuged platelet-rich plasma for injection
  • The affected joint area is cleansed with disinfectant
  • The patient is asked to relax; this will facilitate the injection and also can make the injection less painful.
  • Using a syringe and needle, the doctor injects a small amount (often just 3 to 6 mL) of platelet-rich plasma into the joint capsule
  • The injection area is cleansed and bandaged
  • The platelet-rich plasma typically stimulates a series of biological responses; hence the injection site may be swollen and painful for about 3 days
After the PRP Injection: Immediate Follow-up Care
  • Patients are advised to “take it easy “for a few days and avoid putting strain on the affected joint.
  • Doctor mat advise you not to take anti-inflammatory pain medication for up to 4 weeks, another pain medication may be prescribed by the doctor
  • A bandage to protect and immobilize the affected joint may be required
  • Use a cold compress a few times a day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to help decrease post-injection pain and swelling sometimes advised
  • Patients who do not have physically demanding jobs can usually go back to work the next day.
  • Patients can resume normal activities when swelling and pain decrease, typically a few days after the injections
  • Patient may experience the “roller coaster “syndrome where you feel great one day and for no apparent reason, the treated area starts to hurt again. This is the normal healing process
  • Follow up appointment should be 5-6 weeks
  • You must contact your doctor if you have any of the fallowing symptoms: redness, swelling or warmness to the touch of injection site.

Possible complications of PRP injection

As injecting PRP involves using a person’s own platelets, they do not usually experience any adverse reactions or allergic reaction to the injection. However, the fallowing complication may occur:

  • Infection.
  • An increase in inflammation and pain at the site of the injection.
  • Bleeding and/or bruising.
  • No relief or worsening of symptoms.
  • Skin discolouration.
  • Failure to achieve successful result.
  • Injury to the nerves or blood vessels.
  • Prolonged stiffness and or pain.
  • In general side effects and complication of PRP injections are very rare.

How many treatments are required ?

PRP treatment can achieve 80-90% improvement in pain and function. However more than one treatment, at times 2-3 treatments 4-6 weeks apart, may be required to archive full recovery. Full effect of PRP can take up to 6 months to fully develop as tissue regeneration process may take time.


To discuss booking a joint-injection procedure at Hardwick Medical Clinic, please contact our GP directly on: 07737002708


Steroid Injection£260
PRP Injection£290

COVID-19 and joint and soft tissue steroid injections

You may be concerned about COVID-19. We are still learning about this new disease. At the moment there is limited evidence available on the use of steroid injections during the coronavirus pandemic. There is a theoretical risk of a steroid injection making a patient more vulnerable to the virus. Theoretical means that this could be possible but hasn’t been scientifically proven. Therefore, we will only use steroid injections when considered absolutely necessary by your clinician, and when other safer options have been tried ** Actual patient pictures, but results may vary from individual to individual.

Further Information

To learn more about ageing and how it affects our skin, you can read more here.

Additional treatments may be available, please contact us for more information about this or any other procedures.

Book Now
Phone us now
Send an SMS
Send a WhatsApp

© Hardwick Clinic, 2017. 227 St Neots Road, Hardwick, Cambridge, CB23 7QJ