Cortisone Injection

Why it is used

Although cortisone is a steroid it won't cause muscle growth. It is used to decrease swelling and suppress inflammation. In particular cortisone injections are mostly used in joints (shoulder, knee, ankle, elbow) to reduce or eliminate pain.

Risks and Side effects

The most common side-effect is pain.

Others include:

  • Red flushed face
  • Thinning of nearby bone
  • Joint infection
  • Whitening of the skin (esp in dark skinned patients)
  • Thinning of the skin

The Procedure

The area of skin that is going to be injected through is cleaned with an antiseptic. Then the needle is inserted into your joint and the cortisone is pushed out via the syringe.

Afterwards, you may feel pain for 48 hours but the cortisone generally starts to work approximately 36 hours after administration. Also you may feel an ache when the anaesthetic wears off. If there is pain you can ice the region or take panadol for some relief.

If required you can have more cortisone injections, but generally the limit is four. This is because of concerns of cartilage deterioration.

20 January, 2012