Cortisone is a substance which is very similar to the natural steroid hormone that the body produces. The redness, heat, swelling and pain in the joints is reduced to a great extent. The effect can be prolonged by using special preparations. The action of cortisone injection is seen after 24 hours. This effect may last for many days. Sometimes it may even last for many months. A cortisone injection is given when:
- The pain caused by inflammation in joints is very severe.
- If there is an involvement of only few joints
- If other medications do not work.
- Sometimes local anesthesia may also be given. The pain is relived immediately and it lasts for around 4 hours.
The number of cortisone injections that should be given should be discussed with the doctor. In joints, it cannot be given more than once in a month. Maximum four cortisone injections can be taken in an year.
And in surrounding structures it can be taken once in every three weeks. If low dosages are given, the risk of side effects is reduced to a great extent. The benefits of cortisone injections include:
Reduction of swelling and pain
- Increase in the mobility
- The pain is settled and other medications can be reduced to a great extent.
- It can be used in combination with other treatments such as physiotherapy.
The method of administering the injection is same as that of soft tissue injections. Doctors make use of a needle and syringe for removing the excess amount of fluid. Then the doctor examines the fluid and then sends it to the laboratory for diagnosing. Sometimes side effects may be observed as well. After taking cortisone injections, the joints must be rested for 24 hours.