What are Steroids?
Corticosteroids are a class of medications that are related to cortisone. Cortisone is a naturally occurring corticosteroid hormone produced by your adrenal glands.
What are the benefits of a steroid injection?
The main benefits are to decrease pain and increase function at the injected joint. The aim is to reduce joint inflammation, helping preserve joint structure and function. Painful joints, such as your ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine and wrist, even the small joints in your hands and feet can benefit from a steroid injection.
Where are steroids injected?
Steroids can be injected into the joints (intra-articular) or around the joints (peri-articular) or tendons.
Why are steroids injected locally?
A steroid injection into or around the joint is an effective way to reduce inflammation in or around a single joint. The goal is to deliver the medication directly to the site where it is needed aiming to reduce the need for systemic treatment (pills).
How long does it take for the injection to work and how long does it last?
Steroid injections can take up to 5-7 days to take full effect. The duration of improvement varies. Some patients report months of relief where as others find only a few days of relief. It is best to rest the injected body part as studies have shown that this may improve the effect of the injection.
What should I feel after a steroid injection?
If local anesthetic is injected with the steroid, your pain may be improved over the next few hours. Otherwise, it is normal to feel an increase in discomfort in the joint initially. This discomfort should resolve within 48-72 hours.
You can treat this discomfort by applying a cold pack such as gel pack, bag of ice, or package of frozen vegetables for 5-10 mins twice daily or as needed. You may also take over the counter Tylenol as directed.
If you are diabetic you could develop a temporary elevation of blood sugar. Please check your blood sugar more regularly after your injection.
When should I call my Physician?
If you have any increased swelling, fever, redness, an allergic reaction or increased pain please call your provider. Missoula Bone & Joint Staff Directory
If this is a life threatening reaction please call 911 for immediate medical assistance.