Shoulder cortisone injections have been used to treat inflammation since the late 1950’s. These shots are injected directly into the affected area, and are sometimes mixed with a local anesthetic to provide immediate relief for patients who are experiencing unbearable pain.
Because the medication is delivered directly to the site that is causing pain, a shoulder cortisone injection is much more effective than alternative methods, such as oral painkillers.
Additionally, cortisone is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body, so it is a form of medication that causes minimal side effects in most bodies.
How are shoulder cortisone injections administered?
As a general rule of thumb, a patient should receive a cortisone shot in the shoulder no more than 3-4 times a year, with a period of at least six weeks between each injection. This depends on the patient’s unique situation, however. Thus, it is best to speak with your orthopedic physician about the best course of action for your circumstances.
It’s important for patients to understand that cortisone injections are not a permanent solution. They are, however, a great way to reduce pain and restore mobility.
Are there any risks associated with receiving a cortisone shot for shoulder pain?
Overall, cortisone shots pose a minimal risk. Patients do expose themselves to the potential implications that come with any type of injection, such as skin discoloration at the injection site, as well as bleeding or infection.
These side effects are considerably rare, though, and rarely lead to serious health issues.
Additionally, patients with diabetes can experience increased blood sugar levels after receiving a cortisone injection in the shoulder. If you have diabetes, be sure to discuss your condition with your healthcare provider.
On a final note, prolonged use of cortisone injections has been linked to weakened bone density and cataracts, among other conditions. For these reasons, physicians always aim to keep injections to a minimum, while still providing relief.
If you have any questions or concerns about the potential side effects of injections for shoulder pain, Dr. Schwartz would be happy to speak with you and provide you will all the details you need to make an informed decision.
What should patients expect after receiving a steroid injection in the shoulder?
Most patients experience immediate pain relief after their cortisone shot has been administered. The soothing effect takes place almost instantly!
Some patients do develop some redness in the face and chest, along with a warm sensation.
It is normal to experience some pain after the anesthetic wears off. This is only temporary, however, as it takes approximately three days for the corticosteroids to fully take effect. During this time, patients can find additional relief by applying cold compresses to the shoulder.
In rare instances, a patient may experience fevers or chills, or notice liquid leaking from the injection site. If a patient experiences any of these symptoms, they should contact their healthcare professional immediately.
After a period of 48 hours, patients should be able to enjoy a full range of motion again, and be completely free of any stiffness or pain.
Do you still have questions regarding shoulder cortisone injections? Contact Dr. Schwartz today to learn more about the ways that an orthopedic surgeon can help you relieve pain and regain quality of life.