Patient Comments: Cortisone Injection - Side Effects

What side effects (if any) did you experience with your cortisone injection?

Comment from: jean, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I have many environmental and medical allergies, so I'm reluctant to try anything new. But about 6 months ago I began to have excruciating pain in my neck and left arm, like an almost constant electrical shock going all the way down to my fingertips; probably a pinched nerve, according to tests. I had tried an epidural steroid shot many years ago for my long-standing back pain, with little relief, but this pain was level 10, so I got an almost painless cortisone shot in my cervical spine. It was quite miraculous, stopping the shock-like pain the very day of the injection, and my only side effect was a short-lived headache and minor raising of my glucose levels (which subside about a week after each shot). I got a 2nd shot for the residual pain in my arm, again, great results. Decided to try it for my lower back, since that pain has gotten worse over the years, and not much pain relief, but I think the shot is responsible for the lessening of my many recurring leg and foot cramps, which are probably/apparently caused by my back issues. So, I hope to be able to get more shots as needed; when the pain gets to be unbearable, these injections can be a lifesaver!

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Comment from: ShirleyT, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

I had a fluoroscopy-guided cortisone injection into my right hip joint yesterday. The procedure itself was not too bad, as the doctor used lidocaine to numb the injection site which was at the front, near my pelvic bone. The procedure took about 15 minutes start to finish. I felt fine until I got up. I felt dizzy, and tipsy, as if I had a few drinks. I sat down, then I had the sensation my tongue was swelling, but it wasn't. That only lasted about 20 minutes. I felt very thirsty. I then began to feel very cold, shivering. I was brought a blanket and sat under that for 30 minutes. I noticed that when I got dressed I had pain running from about the injection site into my groin when I tried lifting my leg. I needed assistance walking to the car and from the car into my home. On the 30 minute drive home, (I had a driver), there were several times I felt like bursting out in tears, not from pain, just like emotion, though I am not really a crier. When I got home I took a 3 hour nap and all of the symptoms described above disappeared. I did feel sort of weak, groggy and out of it the rest of the day, and after about 6 hours was feeling some pain in the hip and at the injection site. The doctor said that was a possibility, and I could ice it and take ibuprofen, as it could take 24 to 48 hours for the steroid to take effect. Today the grogginess and weakness are gone, and I feel a little tenderness at the injection site, and a little pain in the hip area. I took another ibuprofen and applied an ice pack. So far, the pain is not as bad as it was prior to the shot.

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Comment from: BeyondTired, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I have severe and chronic back pain since 2001. Several years ago I went through the whole rigmarole of steroid shots under x-ray in the hip and spine. Nothing worked and after many years of medications I gave up hope of finding a pain reliever. In April of 2016 I was in so much pain I went to another pain doctor and had two sacroiliac (SI) joint injections two weeks apart. After each cortisone injection I experienced severe upper stomach pains. The first lasted 3 days and the second lasted 7 days. My doctor says he has never heard of these shots causing stomach problems and wants me to continue with spinal injections which I am not inspired to do.

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Comment from: Anntanns1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I've been getting facet joint injections in L4/5 and L4-S1 every 6 months for a decade now. I have a pain free lower back and no side effects from those cortisone injections. Recently I needed to start injections in my knees (osteoarthritis). Usually they are painless injections, and the knees are pain free the next day. This last injection caused a severe leg cramp that won't go away. No other side effects, just this really painful muscle contraction. I take 750 mg Osteo Bi-flex daily, and am in good health otherwise.

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Comment from: hotshot, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I got a cortisone injection for severe knee pain. The doctor said it might be a couple of days before I noticed any relief. By the time I walked out to my car, I was almost pain free. And this is wild! I have a very poor sense of smell. Today, the day after the shot, I am smelling more odors than I have in a long, long time. I wonder if there is a cause effect thing happening here.

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Comment from: AmyC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I received a cortisone shot in my knee yesterday. Today I woke up with bad headache and my cheeks were extremely red. My knee is feeling a little better, but I heard it takes a few days for the medicine to kick in! Hopefully the red cheeks will go away soon.

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Patient Comments

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Cortisone Injection - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with a cortisone injection.
Cortisone Injection - Knee and Hip Question: Share your experience with cortisone injections in your hip or knee.

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