Corticosteroid Injections (Pain Management)

What are corticosteroid injections?

Also referred to as steroid injections, these are anti-inflammatory medicines that are injected into a joint or other part of the body to treat problems such as chronic pain, arthritis, sciatica and more.

The injections also include an anesthetic. This is intended to make the injection less painful and produce numbness while the steroid works to reduce inflammation.

What conditions are treated with corticosteroid injections?

These injections are most commonly used to relieve pain in joints, such as the knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, elbow and wrist. They are also used in the spine to relieve back pain, as well as in the hands and feet. Arthritic conditions such as osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are also treated with steroid injections.

Are corticosteroid injections covered by insurance?

Yes, these injections are covered by insurance and Medicare for pain relief and arthritis.

How soon before I can get back to my normal routine after a steroid injection?

It is recommended that you rest for a minimum of 24 hours after your injection and avoid strenuous activity for several days. The resting period is important to achieve inflammation reduction.

Are there any side effects to corticosteroid injections?

To avoid potential side effects, there is a limit to the number of steroid injections you can have in a year. Risks increase with larger doses and repeated use, and may include:

  • Cartilage damage
  • Joint infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Temporary flushing
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thinning, whitening or lightening of the skit near the injection site

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact West Coast Orthopedics.

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