Cortisone Injection - Side effects

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

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What are the disadvantages and side effects of cortisone injections?

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 though each of these side effects is possible, they usually do not occur.

Short-term complications 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). Increased pain after the injection is typically due to a postinjection flare because true allergies to cortisone are very rare. Tendons can be weakened by corticosteroid injections administered in or near tendons. Tendon ruptures as a result have been reported. Facial flushing may occur in up to 40% of cases but lasts only briefly. Sweating and insomnia are uncommon side effects.

In people who have diabetes, cortisone injections can elevate the blood sugar. In patients with underlying infections, cortisone injections can suppress somewhat the body's ability to fight the infection and possibly worsen the infection or may mask the infection by suppressing the symptoms and signs of inflammation. Generally, cortisone injections are used with caution in people with diabetes and avoided in people with active infections. Cortisone injections are also used cautiously in people with a bleeding disorder.

Long-term complications of corticosteroid injections depend on the dose and frequency of the injections. With higher doses and frequent administration, potential side effects include thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, acne (steroid acne), elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), and a rare but serious type of damage to the bones of the large joints (avascular necrosis).

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Comment from: Lizadolittle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I have degenerative disc disorder (DDD) in my L4/L5/S1, and bulging discs. I have suffered for 14 years and have tried everything to help with the pain. Yesterday I was given an epidural corticosteroid injection and all I did was sleep. Today I have an amazing headache and have also had palpitations which have subsided now. Another thing I have been experiencing is cold/hot sweats and my stomach feels like I have done hundreds of sit ups but to be fair if it helps with my pain I think I would have it again. They are small things to put up with if it means no pain. No side effects were mentioned to me by the consultant apart from the headache.

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Comment from: Lucky51220, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I had a cortisone injection at the base of my thumb joint for osteoarthritis on Wednesday. Today is Monday, almost a week later and today I work and notice all my muscles, including chest, arms, back, legs hurt as if my body is one big black and blue mark. All my muscles hurt, most of my body hurt just using a washcloth and talking a shower. I never had this before. Not sure if it is the injection but can"t think what else. Originally injection caused more pain and so far has not helped original pain.

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