Cortisone is a medication belonging to the class of drugs known as corticosteroids. Cortisone injections for used for treating various diseases and ailments. Cortisone features a potent anti-inflammatory action and this remedy also helps in regulating the immune function. They’re prescribed to combat many orthopaedic conditions affecting joints particularly, the knee, shoulder, hip, foot, heel, neck, etc.
Cortisone Shot in Knee
Cortisone injections are used widely for a range of disorders including acute knee pain, synovitis, arthritis, tendinopathy (tendinosis) and arthrosis.
The procedure must be performed by a highly qualified orthopaedic surgeon to guarantee both safety and to ensure it is as pain free as possible. A syringe with a long thin needle is the instrument of choice (read about the best needle for steroid injection). The specialist will insert the needle accurately into the joint space often with the assistance of ultrasound to pinpoint the precise destination. Sometimes, before injecting the solution, the doctor will extract joint fluid to prevent certain complications (the liquid can be tested). After sterilising and drying the target area, the substance is administered into the cavity. One might assume this is incredibly painful however, healthcare professionals deploy only the finest of needles. Intra-articular shots resemble intramuscular ones in terms of the degree of pain. After the injection, the patient is required to move the joint a little to evenly distribute the drug inside.
Cortisone Shot in Shoulder
This type of shot is used in the following cases:
- Rotator cuff disease (caused by trauma or overuse in sports);
- Adhesive capsulitis (the so-called “frozen shoulder”, manifested by stiffness and pain in the shoulder);
- Glenohumeral osteoarthritis (a relatively uncommon dysfunction);
Acromioclavicular joint disease, a condition, which triggers anterior or superior painful sensations in the shoulder.
Cortisone shots are used following diagnosis made by X-ray, ultrasound and MRI scan. They are the usual recourse after a 5-6-week failure of treatment by other methods (physiotherapy, rest, and anti-inflammatory oral medicines).
Cortisone Shot in Hip
The hip joint is one of the largest in the human body. It bears a disproportionate share of physical burden throughout our lifespan and therefore is often compromised. People may develop deforming arthrosis (coxarthrosis), the pathology characterized by multifactorial etiology. Its therapy includes multiple techniques.
The medical remedy acts exactly where it’s required, quickly eliminating all signs of inflammation. Individuals with coxarthrosis face not only unpleasant sensations of varying intensity but may also suffer from limited mobility.
Steroid injection is administered in the joint gap between the constituents of the joint. In patients suffering from deforming osteoarthritis, this lumen narrows causing quite an obstacle. An X-ray is sometimes used so that the needle is directed to the proper site prior to sterilisation of the injection site. The med acts quickly and permanently reduces even severe pain, averting cartilage destruction; its action lasts for several days.
Cortisone Shot in Foot
This kind is effectual for fighting Morton’s Neuroma, a widespread disease, manifesting itself in the thickening of tissues around the nerves resulting in nagging and persistent pain. It develops in women more frequently because of high-heeled shoes. The neuroma is located primarily between the 3rd & 4th toes inducing unilateral nerve damage. Rarely, bilateral injury occurs.
The current treatment of the disease is primarily aimed at relieving pressure on the inflamed nerve. In medical literature, the following scenario is described. A healthcare professional recommended patient E., exhibiting the classic symptoms of neuroma, to change narrow shoes to wider-fitting ones. E. couldn’t believe 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 hence the problem.
Cortisone Shot in Back
Three kinds of cortisone shots in the back 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 spine 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 area.
With an epidural shot, a local anaesthetic plus a steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (cortisone or others) are usually injected into the nerve region to eliminate inflammation & oedema which cause nerve compression, thereby resulting in a reduction in pain.
For the purpose of diagnosis, an epidural shot is performed in relation to a specific nerve. To identify the exact source of pain, anaesthetic is injected into the area of interest. 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 does not diminish or the effect is weak, then the nerve culprit is elsewhere.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are another option to treat back pain.
Cortisone Shot in Heel
A cortisone shot in the heel may be used for plantar fasciitis, a complex of pathological processes, characterized by the occurrence of bone growths on the calcaneus of the foot and subsequent traumatization of surrounding soft tissues: the periosteum, muscle tissues & tendons.
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It rapidly removes angry swelling near the plantar fascia, a weblike ligament, connecting the heel to the top of the foot. As a result, pain will cease rapidly. It’s difficult to say how long the action of such therapy lasts, it depends on the individual. Some people only need one injection, but most often two or three are required. Repeated shots may cause some side effects of steroids. For example, patients may feel pain while walking; the fat pad on the heel shrinks as cortisone can cause fat tissue atrophy.
Cortisone Shot in Neck and other Parts of the Body
Neck. Epidural injections decrease painful sensations in the neck. A solution of a corticosteroid drug is injected into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. The aim is to inhibit inflammation of the nerves or other tissues triggered by herniation of the intervertebral disc. This treatment is so effective that frequently, a person can return to normal activities and show considerable progress in the curative physical program. However, there are some risks, in particular, the possibility of infection; that is why its application is curtailed to just several times a year.
Ankle. The ankle is a bone structure at the bottom of the shin, its goal being to transfer weight from foot to foot and provide shock absorption. The ankle is a common joint for injuries in athletes and the general population. Injuries can be injected with steroid medications, such as cortisone and in addition, some diseases, particularly arthrosis can also benefit from cortisone shots.
Wrist. Shots in the wrist may be used for carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a mononeuropathy that develops as a result of compression of the median nerve at the site of its location in the carpal tunnel. People with paresthesia face painful sensations in the palm area innervated by the median nerve. Steroid shots in the wrist are used to alleviate the symptomatology; the drug is injected into the ulnar bag surrounding the median nerve. In patients with mild to moderate severity of the syndrome, steroid shots can be used along with other conservative options, such as splinting (applying splints), physiotherapy, electrotherapy, rest for the arm by removal of the cause, possibly RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury – and special exercises used to restore physical function.
Elbow. Corticosteroid (cortisone) shots are the usual treatment for “tennis elbow” (epicondylitis). They are helpful when more conservative remedies are ineffective. 2-3 injections usually lead to improvement otherwise the treatment is considered ineffectual. However, some researchers believe that cortisone shots in the elbow are actually undesirable. Australian scientist, Bill Vicenzino, in his article with co-authors Helena Britt, Allan J. Pollack et al. (2017) reported that in the longer term (3–12 months) the shots tended to delay healing and cause higher recurrence rates than a “wait and see” approach. In the paper with John W Orchard (2017), a more drastic conclusion was made: “cortisone injections for tennis elbow should be an “avoid”, rather than a recommended procedure”.