Injection therapy at Crushes Manor Clinic will consist of two appointments; one for the assessment of your condition and discussion as to whether an injection is appropriate and one for the actual injection.
What is a corticosteroid injection?
A corticosteroid (or 'cortisone') is an anti-inflammatory medicine, which can relieve swelling, stiffness and pain by reducing inflammation. It can be injected directly into the tissues that are causing your symptoms.
Why can't I just take anti-inflammatory pills?
You can, but the side effects of these are much more common and can cause stomach upsets and bleeding. These injections bypass the stomach and are directly administered to the problem area. These are not the same as the steroids taken by bodybuilders or athletes.
Why should I have a corticosteroid injection?
Because it will help reduce your pain, you can start your rehabilitation sooner, have fewer treatment sessions and return to normal activities more quickly.
What conditions can be helped with a corticosteroid injection?
- Subacromial bursitis / shoulder pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Lateral hip pain / Trochanteric bursitis
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Plantar fasciitis
- Osteoarthritis of the shoulder
Are there times I should not have an injection?Yes, if you:
- Have any infection on your skin or anywhere else in your body or if you are taking antibiotics.
- Are allergic to local anaesthetic or steroid or have suffered from side effects from these medications in the past.
- Feel unwell.
- Are pregnant
- Are under 18
- Do not want the injection
- If you have had or are due to have a vaccination in the three weeks prior to or after your injection
- If you have had or are due to have surgery or dental work four weeks prior to or after your injection
- Or if you have been diagnosed with any of the following
- Adrenocortical insufficiency
- Liver failure or cirrhosis
- Severe osteoporosis
- Cognitive heart failure
What are the possible side effects?These are very rare and your physiotherapist will discuss them with you:
- Flushing of the face for a few hours.
- Small area of fat loss or change in skin colour around the injection site.
- Menstrual irregularities.
- Diabetic patients may notice a temporary increase in blood sugar levels
- If you are taking blood thinning tablets, there may be temporary bruising
- Infection: if the area becomes hot, swollen and painful for more than 24 hours, or if you feel generally unwell, you should contact your physiotherapist or doctor immediately.
- An increase in pain 24-48 hours after the injection.
- You will be asked to wait for a short time after your injection to check for any reactions.
There may be other side effects of the medicines we use - please see the manufacturer's patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine for further information.
What happens during the injection?
The benefits and risks of the injection will be explained to you in detail. The skin is cleaned with antiseptic. A needle is gently put into the affected area and the solution is injected through the needle. A plaster will be placed over the site to keep it clean. A few minutes after the injection you will be examined again.
Is the injection painful?
Not particularly. However, sometimes it can be sore for a few hours after the procedure.
How fast does the injection work
If local anaesthetic is also used, the pain should improve within a few minutes although it may return after about an hour when it wears off (similar to when you visit the dentist). The steroid usually starts to work after 24 - 48 hours, but it may take a little longer
How long does the effect last?
This varies from person to person and the condition being treated, but the steroid usually continues working for between 3 to 6 weeks.
How many injections will I need/can I have?
This depends on the part of the body involved and will be decided by your physiotherapist and yourself. Usually one injection is sufficient, but if the pain is severe or has been there for a long time you may need more.
What should I do after the injection?
Depending on the cause of your pain, you may be asked to rest the area for a short period after the injection. This does not usually mean total rest, but refraining from activities that make your pain worse, after which you should try to gradually return to full function. This is to maximize the benefit given by the injection.
When will I have to be seen again?
Your physiotherapist will want to see you or speak to you about 3 to 4 weeks after the injection. You may also be referred for physiotherapy treatment.