What Is a Cortisone Injection?
Cortisone is a steroid hormone that can be used to reduce inflammation. When given as an injection it can be directed into a specific area, such as a joint or tendon, to reduce localized inflammation and relieve pain.
What Are the Side Effects of a Cortisone Injection?
As a hormone, cortisone may produce temporary side effects of facial flushing, increase in blood sugar, headaches, alterations in mood, and sleep disturbance.
Are Cortisone Injections Safe?
Cortisone injections are generally considered safe to use up to three or four times per year. If used more frequently, cortisone may lead to cartilage damage, tendon weakening/rupture, or bone thinning. This doesn’t mean it needs to be avoided, as it can offer great short-term relief for many patients, especially when coupled with more definitive treatments.
How Long Does a Cortisone Injection Last?
Most cortisone injections are effective from about 4-6 weeks. There is also a newer extended-release cortisone injection available for the knee which has proven effective for 12-16 weeks.