How long does a cortisone shot last?

A cortisone shot is an injection that can help reduce pain and inflammation in a particular area in the body. They are most commonly used in joints including knees, hips, shoulders, elbow, spine, and even smaller joints in the hands and feet.

When should you consider cortisone injections?

Surgery is generally a last resort for patients with joint pain. Instead, our physicians prefer to start with non-invasive options like a cortisone injection. This treatment option can help you

  • minimize joint pain
  •  increase mobility
  • delay surgery
  • get back to regular functioning and daily activities
  • soothe arthritis flare-ups

Cortisone shots do not work for everyone, but they are an easy and often useful option to try before more invasive treatments.

How does a cortisone shot work?

Cortisone by itself is not a pain reliever. Instead it is an anti-inflammatory. The cortisone is injected directly into the joint and prevents collagen production.  This in turn prevents further inflammation and calms nerves thereby reducing pain.

How soon will I get relief after receiving an injection?Adults running down a path

A cortisone shot is made up of a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. Because of the anesthetic, your joint will probably feel numb for a few hours after the injection. The corticosteroid should kick in within 3 to 5 days of the injection, but some people experience immediate relief. Patients often wonder how long does a cortisone shot last. Pain relief and reduced swelling last for different amounts of time for different individuals. The relief may continue for months or last only a few days. People frequently see benefits from regular cortisone injections, but it is not recommended to get them too frequently. Your doctor can help determine an appropriate treatment plan during your consultation.

What are the risks of cortisone injections?

Cortisone injections are a very safe treatment for joint pain. There are minimal risks and rarely do we see any complications. The biggest difficulty is for those who have a fear of needles. Several options may be available for your specific orthopedic situation, and it is important to seek advice from a specialist to discuss cortisone shots as well as alternate treatments. The doctors at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help guide you in making this decision and with providing treatment.

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