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Cortisone Injection

Natural corticosteroid produced by the adrenal gland, now used for its anti-inflammatory qualities and used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A cortisone injection can reduce the pain for months, it is a substance very similar to a steroid which is produced by the body.

Natural corticosteroid produced by the adrenal gland, now used for its anti-inflammatory qualities and used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Corticosteroids can be taken by mouth, inhaled, applied to the skin, given intravenously (into a vein), or injected into the tissues of the body. Examples of corticosteroids include prednisone and prednisolone (given by mouth), solumedrol (given intravenously), as well as triamcinolone, kenalog, celestone, depomedrol and others (given by injection into body tissues).

Corticosteroids are not pain relievers. They reduce inflammation. When corticosteroids relieve pain it is because they have reduced inflammation.

While the inflammation for which corticosteroids are given can recur, corticosteroid injections can provide months to years of relief when used properly. These injections also can cure diseases (permanently resolve them) when the problem is tissue inflammation localized to a small area, such as bursitis and tendonitis.

A cortisone injection can reduce the pain for months, it is a substance very similar to a steroid which is produced by the body.

An injection of extra cortisone increases the body's ability to reduce pain, heat, redness and swelling of the joints. The method of administering a cortisone injection to a joint is similar to that of soft tissue injections. Betadine, however, is more commonly used for sterilization of the skin over the joint. Furthermore, if there is an excessive amount of fluid within the joint, it often is removed first with a separate syringe and needle prior to injection of the cortisone. Removal of this joint fluid allows the doctor to examine the fluid and submit a sample to the laboratory for diagnosis. Removal also rapidly relieves pain by reducing the pressure of the fluid within the joint. Finally, removal of fluid may expedite healing.

They are used when, pain due to swelling is severe, when other medication can not be used, if joints are preventing activity.

No more than once a month in one joint. You should never have more than four a year.

Cortisone takes effect between 24-36 hours. It can benefit you for weeks and sometimes months.

Disadvantages of cortisone injections are the necessity of piercing the skin with a needle as well as potential short and long term side effects. It should be emphasized that each of these side effects is possible, they usually do not occur.

Short term side effects are uncommon, but include shrinkage (atrophy) and lightening of the color (depigmentation) of the skin at the injection site, introduction of bacterial infection into the body, local bleeding from broken blood vessels in the skin or muscle, soreness at the injection site, and aggravation of inflammation in the area injected because of reactions to the corticosteroid medication (postinjection flare). Tendons can be weakened by corticosteroid injections in or near tendons. Tendon ruptures as a result have been reported.