Customer advice on sports injuries from Worcester Physiotherapy Clinic
Cortisone is a type of steroid that is produced naturally by a gland in your body called the adrenal gland. Cortisone is released from the adrenal gland when your body is under stress. Natural cortisone is released into the blood stream and is relatively short-acting.
Injectable cortisone is a synthetic (man made) drug and has many different trade names (we normally use Triamcinolone Acetonide or Methylprednisolone Acetate), The manufacture drug is a close derivative of your body’s own product. Also, the cortisone is designed to remain in the target tissue for a longer period of time - days instead of minutes.
What are some common reasons for a cortisone injection?
Many conditions where inflammation is an underlying problem are amenable to cortisone injections. These include, but are certainly not limited to:
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. When pain is decreased from cortisone it is because the inflammation has been re-
duced. Cortisone injections usually work within a few days and the
effects can last up to several weeks.
• Tennis Elbow • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Allergic reactions
rare but possible effect that we are prepared for.
• Elevated Blood Sugar
Patients with diabetes should carefully monitor their blood sugar as
Can I get a cortisone injection more than once?
cortisone can cause a temporary blood sugar rise.
There is no hard and fast rule as to how many cortisone injections
• Facial Flushing
can be given. Our policy is we will not give more than three injections into
Sensation and redness is seen in up to 15% of patients. This can begin
one joint over a 12 months period. Animal studies have shown effects of
within a few hours of the injection and may last for a few days. No action
weakening of tendons and softening of cartilage with cortisone injec-
tions. Repeated cortisone injections multiply these effects and increase the risk of potential problems. This is the reason many doctors limit the
number of injections they offer to a patient.
Some patients have discomfort after the injection for 24 to 48 hours. This usually subsides quickly and can be aided with an ice pack and anti-inflammatory medication.
A cortisone injection starts to work very quickly once injected, although
The chance of this is very small around 1:10000.
the time when you feel relief from your symptoms can vary. Most people find that relief begins up to 10 days after the injection.
• Skin Pigment Changes
Patients with darker skin should also be aware that cortisone may cause skin around the injection site to lighten. This is not harmful.
If the inflammation is severe, or if the inflammation has been around a long time (chronic), the cortisone injection may take longer to take effect
• Loss of Fatty Tissue
and may require more than one injection.
When injected into fatty tissue, cortisone can lead to a problem called fat atrophy. Fat atrophy causes loss of fatty tissue, which can lead to dimpling of the skin or the thinning out of fat.
• Tendon Rupture
If one or two cortisone injections into one region do not help a problem
Cortisone can also lead to tendon rupture. We do not inject steroid into
for a sustained period of time, then it is unlikely that more cortisone
injections will be of any benefit. The further management of your problem will be discussed with you at that point.
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