The Vault

Your doctor may have advised you to take a cortisone shot for your arthritis or other painful condition, but do you really need it? Cortisone injections have long been proven safe and appropriate for a lot of orthopedic health issues. However, some tend to develop concerns when they hear that this procedure uses steroids.

You might have heard about athletes taking “performance-enhancing” steroids and developing side effects, but cortisone is a different kind of steroid. Similar to cortisol, cortisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that is injected directly into an affected joint or area. If you suffer from any of the following orthopedic health issues,  cortisone shot may be an effective treatment option for you:

  • Arthritis
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Trigger finger
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions

The procedure is relatively simple and involves a needle insertion to the inflamed area. Next, the steroid medication is injected. The procedure usually lasts 10-15 minutes. You’ll experience minimal discomfort and you’ll begin to feel pain relief 2-3 days after the procedure. The time frame of pain relief is variable and may last from one week to one year.

Are there any risks? 

Cortisone flare is one possible complication of the said treatment. This happens when the cortisone forms tiny crystals which irritate the surrounding tissue. The irritation usually disappears after a day or two. Infection, nerve damage, and bone or cartilage thinning are all rare complications linked to cortisone injections. Make sure to discuss all possible side effect with your attending physician before undergoing any type of treatment.

Cortisone shots are a helpful treatment option that can enable you to take part in physical therapy, and engaging in physical therapy exercises will help you reduce pain in the long run. More questions? Schedule an appointment with Spine Center of Texas today.

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