Cortisone medication can help ease swelling and pain from arthritis, illness, or injury when injected into the body. Cortisone shots or corticosteroid shots don’t start working immediately. Some patients wonder when those chemicals begin to have an impact and which factors impact their efficacy. This is particularly true in the case of athletes that have a game or any type of contest on the horizon. Choosing the best time to have a corticosteroid shot can prove to be the difference between success and failure.
Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and also in and around greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.
Outlook Following Cortisone Shots
In general, cortisone shots take about 4 – 5 days to start working. In relation to this, it’s prudent to give the shot at least a week to ease pain. In most patients, corticosteroid shots take about 7 days to start showing benefits. The effect may last for up to 2 months. In some cases, the effect may last for more than 2 months.
Cortisone reduces inflammation in damaged joints. Your doctor may recommend other treatments to address the cause of joint pain. This can be treatment for an autoimmune disorder, obesity, ligament damage, or another condition.
Mechanism of Cortisone Shots
Cortisone shots are in-office medication. They may be injected directly in the joint involved. In some cases, the injection contains local anesthetic to start easing pain. Where shoulders are concerned, the cortisone injection can be injected in the:
Longevity of Results
The effect of a corticosteroid shot may last between 6 weeks to 6 months. You will begin feeling great as the injection reduces inflammation. Furthermore, the injection doesn’t cure the disease. You should combine the shot with lifestyle changes, such as gaining muscle strength, losing weight and other similar methods.
In some patients, the cortisone injection may not work. Failure can be due to the following reasons:
- Diagnosis was incorrect
- Cortisone shot was injected in the wrong area
- Needle placement was incorrect
- Failure of proper rehabilitation
Side Effects of a Cortisone Shot
Cortisone shots, in general, are safe when used for the right reasons. Correlating with this, there are always side effects to every medical treatment. Potential side effects, include:
- Infection (1 in every 100,000)
- Allergic reaction (rare)
- Skin discoloration and thinning (can be reduced by using ultrasound)
- Bleeding into joints
- Temporary increase in blood sugar levels of diabetics, which lasts for up to 2 weeks
- Increased pain in the first few days due to cortisone flare
These are all short-term side effects and can be prevented by getting the cortisone shot from a reliable treatment provider. In rare cases, there are certain long-term side effects as well. Recent studies have shown that incorrectly or repeated cortisone injections may damage the cartilage. Cortisone injections may cause weakness in the tendons for a few weeks.
You can reduce the risk of these long-term side effects by using cortisone shots sparingly and always for the right reasons. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and also from greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery procedures.
Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.
Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada