Steroid Injections

Also known as: corticosteroid injections, cortisone injections, cortisone shots

What are steroid injections?

Steroid injections are a treatment that can be used to reduce pain and improve mobility for conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, joint pain and even inflammatory bowel disease. They involve injecting a steroid directly into an area of the body in order to reduce pain and swelling.

What happens during the treatment?

The doctor may use an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan for guidance during the injection. In some cases, contrast dye is injected to further help with joint location. Then a needle is injected directly into the joint in order to inject the steroid medication for the relief of pain and other symptoms. The steroid is often mixed with a numbing medication to ease the pain of the injection itself.

Is any special preparation needed?

You may need to stop taking certain medications prior to steroid injections. Follow your health care provider’s instructions closely.

What are the risk factors?

It’s normal for the injection site to be sore for a few days after the injection. Infection, bleeding, allergic reactions, nerve injury and paleness at the injection site are all potential risks.

Reviewed by: Craig Spurdle, MD

This page was last updated on: March 30, 2021 01:56 PM

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