Cortisone Injection

  • Medical Author:
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cortisone Injection Side Effects

Both localized atrophy of the subcutaneous tissues and discoloration are well known side effects of cortisone injections. Sometimes these are the desired effects of the injection, as when we inject steroids around nerve entrapments, with the intent that the atrophy will decrease the pressure on the nerve.

Corticosteroid (cortisone) injection of joints and soft tissue facts

  • Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Cortisone injections can offer fast-acting relief of inflamed muscles, joints, tendons, and bursa.
  • Complications are rare but may include infection and bleeding.
  • When administered by an expert, cortisone injections offer significant pain relief from inflammation with only minimal discomfort.

What are corticosteroids?

Corticosteroids are a class of medications that are related to cortisone, a steroid. Medications of this class powerfully reduce inflammation. They are used to reduce the inflammation caused by a variety of diseases. Cortisone is one type of corticosteroid. For the purpose of this review, "cortisone" is used interchangeably with "corticosteroid."

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), methylprednisolone sodium succinate injection (Solu-Medrol) (given intravenously), as well as triamcinolone (Kenalog), betamethasone (Celestone), methylprednisolone (Depo-Medrol), and others (given by injection into body tissues). This article describes the role of cortisone injections into the soft tissues and joints.

Reviewed on 1/30/2017
References
REFERENCES:

McNabb, J.W. A Practical Guide to Joint & Soft Tissue Injection & Aspiration. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005.

Ruddy, S., Harris, E.D., Sledge, C.B., Kelley, W.N., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 2013.

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