Cortisone injections are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body.
They’re most commonly injected into joints - such as ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder and wrist, or soft tissues - such as in or around inflamed tendon or bursa. Small joints in hands and feet affected by arthritis can benefit from cortisone shots.
Cortisone injection’s effect typically lasts 3-4 months or less
Cortisone shots are effective in treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic musculoskeletal conditions.
When corticosteroids injected into inflamed or painful joint, this reduces inflammation in and around the joint, relieves pain, and significantly improves patient's quality of life. Cortisone injections are good alternative to oral anti-inflammatory or pain medications (that often have systemic side effects or can cause addiction or tolerance).
Cortisone shots are used in treatment of many common conditions, including:
Knee, shoulder or hip arthritis
Thumb and big toe arthritis
Bursitis (in hip or knee)
Plantar fasciitis (pain in feet with walking)
Morton's neuroma (painful condition that affects the ball of foot)
Tendinitis (for instance "tennis elbow", Achilles tendonitis, etc.)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Shoulder rotator cuff tears or chronic shoulder pain
Side-effects & precautions
Cortisone injections are generally safe and involve little or no pain (depending on site of injection).
They are often done under real-time ultrasound guidance to improve safety and accuracy of injection.
Side effects are rare, but can include thinning or discoloration of the skin at the injection site; infection, bleeding, aggravation of inflammation in the injected area (post injection flare).
Rarely cortisone injection can cause injury or damage of tendons
Individual results may vary. Beneficial results of treatment are not guaranteed as every patient is different and treatment outcome depends on many factors including severity and duration of condition.