Thoughts on cortisone shots?

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  1. I broke my ankle (bone chip) and it's slow to heal, even with a lot of physical therapy. It's also still a bit swollen. My foot doctor suggested cortisone shots but I declined because I'm not a fan of steroids and I'm also not a fan of painful shots. Plus I didn't want to have to do cortisone multiple times.

    Anyone have experience with cortisone? What are your thoughts on how it worked for you? Was it worth it?
  2. Well the one thing I've learned about cortisone shots are...the results are different for every person.

    My grandfather, my mother, and my husband have all had them.

    My grandfather used several courses of shots, 3-4 if I recall, to get himself through about 5 years or so before he finally took the plunge and got double knee replacement. He was usually able to get about a year of relief out of a shot at first and then it decreased to about 6 months.

    My mother has a bone spur in her right shoulder and a bad rotator cuff, she was a volleyball coach for 20+ years. She's had several courses as well. Her shots last "longer" than what you're told is their lifespan. Her shots typically last for 2-3 years. Right now she's on almost 2 years from her last shot. She too is trying to put off surgery. Her doctor is great. He suggests the surgery, but listens to her and realizes that the shots lost a while for her and are much "easier" than surgery, so he told her he would continue to give her the shots until they stop working and then it would have to be surgery.

    My husband also has a bone spur in his shoulder, he was a pitcher in baseball for many years. He had his shot going on about a year ago. He still has pain once in a while, but he says he still feels as though the shot is working. His specialist told him he could get 1-2 more shots and then it would have to be surgery because he was so young and they want to do the surgery.

    Like I said it seems as though the shots, relief, and lifespan are very different for everyone. I hope some of this might be helpful to you.
  3. I love them. Honestly, I do not have time to nurse an injury so I will get them when the ice/rest thing does not work. I have never had to get more than one in the place where the problem exists. I think it is like everything else, in moderation it is fine.
  4. I have severe arthritis in my left ankle -- probably due to years of wear tear from running and dancing.

    I got one cortisone shot, and it worked really well at relieving the pain, but it only lasted a few weeks. The doctor also told me I could only get a total of two so I switched to Naprocin instead.
  5. Cortisone shots HAVE helped me.I found them worth the pain of the injection..In all honesty....I get them like every few months in my hip.The first day I get hurts more........then soon, I get relief for MONTHS!

    PS-I am also allergic to ibuprofin.which sucks majorly!LOL!
  6. I just learned about joint injections today in class! One thing I thought was interesting/useful was, our professor (an arthroscopic surgeon) said that you should expect a cortisone shot to be painful when you get it--if it's not, then the doctor probably didn't inject into the inflamed/swollen area.
    From what I've learned (never had one myself), a cortisone shot is a perfectly fine thing to get for temporary relief of joint pain, especially when the joint is healing. The cortisone will not only get rid of your pain, it'll decrease the swelling in the ankle, which might help it heal faster. Also, a steroid injection is so local that you don't need to worry about the serious side effects of the steroids (like people who take steroid pills, for example).
  7. I had cortisone shots while going to physical therapy for tendinitis in my right shoulder. They were able to lessen the pain while my shoulder was healing. Helped quite a bit!

    No side effects, either - I took prednisone once which was horrid, but the shots were a piece of cake!
  8. Hmm ... everyone's posts talk about pain. I really don't have any pain. The cortisone route seemed excessive since I don't have pain. Thoughts on that?

    girliceclimber, I read that the shots don't have to hurt .... you can add in a painkiller to the shot and also do a topical ... your professor scares me, I'm glad he's not my doctor!
  9. I dont agree with the shots. My mom used to have them and they made her fat. well looked all swollen.
  10. I like the shots much better than oral steroids. I only get them if I have pain and swelling in a joint that is really resistant to other treatments- although once I had a knee done so that I could enjoy myself on a vacation that required a lot of walking. I think that if I were you and didn't have any pain or loss of movement I would decline the shot at this time- you can always get it later on down the road.
  11. Oh, I didn't realize that you didn't have pain. Is the shot only to reduce the swelling then? Unless the doctor has a good reason for why he wants to give you a cortisone shot (like, the swelling is impeding the healing or something), then I wouldn't get it. Especially if you're getting around fine and don't feel like you need/want it.

    And my prof was scaring me too! I personally hate needles (almost fainted when we had to draw each others' blood!) and don't like getting shots of any kind. The topical anesthesia I think is to numb the skin, he was talking about putting the needle into the joint and moving the needle until the patient goes "Ouch!" so that he knew he was in the inflamed joint. :yucky: Just hearing about it made me feel woozy.
  12. I have to agree -- why get cortisone if I'm not in pain? I know I'm a slow healer, because I broke the other ankle in 2001. But physical therapy (and a LOT of it) did the trick.

    I also heard that you can add a numbing agent in with the cortisone in addition to using a topical numbing one, so it doesn't kill the patient during the shot. I think your professor may have some masochistic tendencies! :lol:
  13. I've had several cortisone shots, and they have always been painful. The only one that ever worked for me was one in the top of the foot between the toes.

    The ones in my wrists have never done anything for me. I've also had 2 epidurals for chronic back pain. The shots last for 2 or 3 days TOPS, then I'm back to the same pain.

    I just had two in my ankle this morning. Right now, I'm in so much pain I want to scream, but I had to let the Dr, try it. I don't think it's going to work, but my only other option is surgery - and I'm not ready for that.
  14. This is an older thread now, but after a few conversations with my physical therapist, I am not going to get any, ever. Apparently the cortisone helps the inflammation but eventually compromises the tissues around it -- which can lead to arthritis. So no thanks, no cortisone for me!