Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections have been used for decades to temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in joints and soft tissues, and to relieve systemic inflammatory reactions. The advantage to injecting corticosteroid medication rather than taking it orally is that it is delivered more quickly to the affected area and often has more effective results. Corticosteroid injections are routinely used to reduce the pain and swelling of bursitis, tendonitis and arthritis.

Corticosteroid injections are often given as part of rehabilitation program to help a patient perform physical therapy exercises with less discomfort. Relief from a single injection typically lasts from 1 week up to 1 year. A typical positive response may last for 1 month. If successful, these injections can be repeated. Corticosteroid injections can also be of diagnostic value in pinpointing the regional source of the pain, determining its severity, and assisting the physician in developing an appropriate treatment plan.

The Corticosteroid Injection Procedure

Corticosteroid injections are usually administered by the prescribing doctor in an outpatient facility. The injection procedure takes only a few minutes. Although the steroids themselves are not analgesics, they alleviate pain as a result of reducing inflammation.

In most cases, the patient experiences immediate pain relief from the anesthetic, but the relief is temporary and wears off in a few hours. During the next day or two, however, as the corticosteroid reduces inflammation, the patient should feel a significant, if not total, reduction in pain. The patient can usually resume normal activities the day following the procedure.

Risks of Corticosteroid Injections

For most patients, corticosteroid injections are safe. As with all medical procedures, however, there is a possibility of complications. In rare instances, patients who have received corticosteroid injections have experienced headaches, bleeding, infections, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions and nerve damage. This treatment should not be administered to patients who are pregnant or have a bleeding disorder or an infection. Because corticosteroids can temporarily elevate blood pressure and blood sugar, and affect mood, patients with hypertension, diabetes or mood disorders should be monitored before, during and after treatment.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you are interested in corticosteroid injections in the hand, visit Specialty Orthopaedics. Our New York orthopedic practice is home to a team of fellowship-trained orthopedists in a variety of specialty areas. We offer comprehensive treatment for musculoskeletal disorders in a caring and responsive clinical atmosphere. Give us a call at 914.686.0111 or fill out the form on this page to schedule your appointment today.

Dr. Valdet Nikci

Hand & Upper Extremity Specialist

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