Corticosteroid Injections

Our physicians perform steroid injections into the shoulder bursa, hip bursa or knee joint. Trigger point injections can also be performed to assist with muscle pain.

The purpose of the injection is to provide pain relief and a localized anti-inflammatory effect to facilitate rehabilitation efforts and functional recovery.

Sterile technique is used when performing injections. This added care is needed to minimize the risk of infection.

The material used for the injection is left to the discretion of the physician. Numerous philosophies and theories exist regarding the use of the different injectables.  Our physicians use a combination of anesthetic, usually 0.25% Sensorcaine and corticosteroid, Kenalog.

Following the injection procedure, it is often helpful to ice the area. The injection itself is traumatic and can result in local swelling and tenderness. Immediate icing of the area reduces this inflammatory response. Heat over the injection site should be avoided for the first 24 to 48 hours or if there is bleeding.

It is important to remember that local anesthetic from the injection may provide significant comfort for a few hours and not to overwork the joint or limb following the injection since there may be increased pain after the anesthetic loses effect. The steroid portion of the injection can take effect within a day or up to two weeks. There may be a delayed response with receiving reduction in inflammation and pain relief following a corticosteroid injection.

Injections provide some degree of relief in the majority of patients. The duration of relief varies. Complications are rare but could potentially result in the need for additional consultation, testing, imaging, procedures and/or hospitalization. Potential adverse side effects from corticosteroids include, but are not limited to, post injection flare, local site reaction, mood swings, rash, itching, hives, difficulty breathing, asthma attack, facial swelling, tongue swelling, headaches, flushing, damage to kidneys, impaired vision or hearing, altered mental capacity, cognitive impairment, increased susceptibility to infection, hyperglycemia, hypertension, injury or potential insult to any body tissue (skin, fat, muscle, connective tissue, and/or bone). Additional questions regarding the potential benefits and risks of an injection as well as corticosteroid side effects can be provided at the time of the injection.

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