Cortisone is a drug belonging to the class of corticosteroids. A cortisone injection is prescribed for the treatment of multiple diseases and health conditions. Cortisone is a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids have a powerful anti-inflammatory action; these medications can also help regulate the functioning of your immune system. They’re used to treat many orthopedic conditions that affect the knee, shoulder, hip, foot, heel, neck, etc.
Cortisone shot in knee
A cortisone shot in knee may be indicated for various conditions or diseases, for example, acute pain in the knee joint, synovitis and tendinitis, arthritis and arthrosis.
The shot inside the joints should be given by a highly qualified orthopedic physician, as only in this situation is there the guarantee that the manipulation will be safe and relatively painless. When giving shots in the joints, a syringe with a long thin needle is used (read more on the best needle for steroid injection). The needle must fit exactly into the joint space. With the purpose of avoiding adverse events, such shots may be performed under ultrasound control. Sometimes, before injecting the drug, the doctor extracts fluid from the joint to avoid certain complications (and sometimes even to send the liquid for testing). After drying the joint, the medication is administered into the cavity. Based on the description of the procedure, it may be assumed that the shots inside the joints are painful, but it is not so. For such shots, very thin needles are used, and most persons compare sensations from intra-articular shots with usual intramuscular ones. After the manipulation, a patient needs to move the joint a little, so that the medicine is evenly distributed inside.
Cortisone shot in shoulder
A cortisone shot in the shoulder may be performed in the following cases:
- Rotator cuff disease (caused by trauma or overuse in sports);
- Adhesive capsulitis (the so-called “frozen shoulder”, which is manifested by stiffness and pain in the shoulder);
- Glenohumeral osteoarthritis (a relatively uncommon disease);
- Acromioclavicular joint disease (the condition, which cause anterior or superior painful sensations in the shoulder).
Cortisone shots are used after appropriate shoulder diagnosis, including X-rays, ultrasound and MRI scan. They are also usually used after a 5-6-week failure of treating by other methods (physiotherapy, rest, and antiinflammatory meds).
Cortisone shot in hip
The hip joint is the biggest in the human organism; it carries huge loads throughout our lifespan, and therefore it’s often affected. In this occasion, deforming arthrosis or coxarthrosis is diagnosed. Coxarthrosis therapy is performed using various methods.
A cortisone shot in the hip is efficient for this health disorder – the medical remedy acts exactly where it is needed, quickly eliminating pain and other signs of inflammation. Individuals with this pathology suffer not only from pain of different intensities, but also from mobility disorders.
Steroid injection is done in the joint gap, a little gap between the constituents of the joint. In patients suffering from deforming osteoarthritis, this lumen narrows, which may complicate the procedure. In some occasions, an X-ray is used so that the needle can get to the targeted site. Additionally, the injection region and the needle must be sterile. The med quickly and permanently reduces even severe painful sensations and prevents cartilage destruction; its action lasts for some days.
Cortisone shot in foot
A cortisone shot in the foot may be used for Morton’s neuroma. This is a widespread disease, which includes the thickening of the tissues around the foot nerves and is followed by nagging pain. In most occasions, the disorder develops in female persons due to regularly wearing high heels, but this disorder may also develop in male persons. The neuroma is located primarily between the 3rd & 4th toes causing unilateral nerve damaging. Very rarely, bilateral damage develops.
The current treatment of the ailment is primarily aimed at relieving pressure on the inflamed nerve. For instance, in the medical literature, the following case has been described. A healthcare professional recommended patient E., who had the classic symptoms of neuroma, to change narrow shoes to broad ones. E. could not believe that there was a direct connection between her footwear and the neuroma, as she rarely wore shoes with high heels. Her casual footwear were leather shoes of conservative style, but too narrow and half a size smaller than necessary.
Cortisone shot in back
There are 3 different kinds of cortisone shots in the back that are given to treat back pain. They are a facet joint shot, a nerve root block shot, and an epidural steroid injection. Facet joint shots are administered when the tissues near the spines are affected by the inflammatory process; the shots are given into the facet joints located in the back of the vertebral bone. Nerve root block shots are given into the zone near the roots of spinal nerves to decrease pain, in particular, in the lower back zone.
In the case of epidural shot, a local anesthetic and a steroidal antiinflammatory drug (cortisone or others) are usually injected into the nerve region. The effect of such an injection is confined to the elimination of inflammation & edema of tissues in the region of nerve compression, resulting in the pain subsiding. This type of epidural shot is aimed at treatment.
For the purpose of diagnosing, epidural shot is performed specifically in relation to a specific nerve to identify pain source. In this situation, only the anesthetic without cortisone is injected into the area of interest. Further, the response to the shot is monitored. If the pain stops immediately or almost immediately, it is this nerve that is responsible for the pain syndrome and neurological symptoms. If the pain after the shot does not stop or the effect is weak, then the place of painful sensations origin is apparently another nerve.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are another option to treat back pain.
Cortisone shot in heel
Cortisone shot in heel may be used for plantar fasciitis, which implies a complex of pathological processes, characterized by the occurence of bone growths on the calcaneus of the foot and subsequent traumatization of surrounding soft tissues: the periosteum, muscle tissues & tendons.
Cortisone has a pronounced anti-inflammatory action and contributes to the quick elimination of inflammation reactions in the tissues surrounding plantar fasciitis. As a result, painful sensations are quickly stopped. It’s difficult to say how long the action of such therapy will last. It depends on a particular patient. Some people only need one injection, but most often two or three injections are required. However, this may cause some side effects of steroids. For example, patients who get cortisone shots in the heel to treat plantar fasciitis may experience pain while walking, the fat pad on the heel decreases, as cortisone may lead to fat tissue atrophy.
Cortisone shot in neck and other parts of the body
- Neck. Epidural injections which we have described above can be used to decrease painful sensations in the neck. This therapy option involves injecting a solution of a corticosteroid drug into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. The goal of this shot is to decrease the inflammation of the nerves or other tissues caused by herniation of intervertebral disc. Using this method, it is possible to alleviate the pain so much that a patient can return to normal activities and achieve progress in the curative physical program. However, epidural administration of medications has its risks, including the possibility of infection; therefore its use is limited to several times a year.
- Ankle. Cortisone shots may also be made in the ankle. The ankle is a bone structure in the shin area, which is part of the ankle joint. Its goal is to transfer weight from foot to foot, as well as shock absorption. The ankle is a common place for injuries in athletes and tourists. In severe occasions, ankle injuries can be injected with steroid medications, such as cortisone. In addition, some diseases, particularly, arthrosis, can also affect the ankle. Cortisone can help in such cases.
- Wrist. Shots in the wrist may be used for carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a compression mononeuropathy that develops as a result of compression of the median nerve at the site of its passing through the carpal tunnel. Patients usually experience pain, paresthesia, and weakness in the part of the palm innervated by the median nerve. Steroid shots in the wrist are used to alleviate the symptoms, by injecting the drug into the ulnar bag surrounding the median nerve. In individuals with mild and moderate severity of the syndrome, steroid shots can be used along with other conservative options, such as splinting, physiotherapy, rest for the arm, and regular therapeutic exercises.
- Elbow. Shots of the corticosteroid are the usual treatment of the “tennis elbow” (epicondylitis of the elbow). If conservative measures do not help, a reasonable option is to use shots of steroids (cortisone). If more than two injections have been made and they haven’t brought relief, it is unlikely that additional injections will be beneficial to the person. Some studies show that cortisone shots in the elbow can do more harm than good. “Patients receiving steroids should be warned about the possibility of relapses within 3–12 months after the end of injections, even with relief of symptoms,” Australian scientist Bill Vicenzino says.