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Patient Care

Cortisone Injection

What is a cortisone injection?
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. By injecting cortisone into a particular area, high concentrations of medication can be given to successfully reduce inflammation. We use a mixture of local anesthetics (Lidocaine and Marcaine) and corticosteroid (Depo-Medrol).

What are cortisone injections used for?
Cortisone injections are used for many orthopaedic conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, and arthritis. Is the injection painful? The injection is mixed with 2 anesthetics, one short-acting and one long-acting, so the shot should not be too painful. The most common side effect is called a “cortisone flare”, in which you can experience a brief episode of pain after the injection. This usually lasts a day or two and can be treated by icing the area for 20 minutes on and off as needed.

How many injections can I receive?
Typically, a maximum of 3-4 a year due to the concern for deterioration of cartilage within the joint with repeated use. However, if one or two injections provides you with no relief, you should speak with your doctor about other options.

How long will the injection last?
Most people feel immediate relief or relief within 48 to 72 hours. This can last up to several weeks.

Is it safe to get this injection if I have diabetes?
Patients with diabetes should carefully monitor their blood sugar, as cortisone can cause a temporary rise in blood sugar. Patients taking insulin should be especially careful and adjust their insulin doses as necessary.

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