Steroid Anti-inflammatory Injection
When your knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or other area are painful and inflamed, a low dose anti-inflammatory injection with high quality steroid may suffice to fix the problem. Yes, these types of injections have been deemed a “bandaid” approach but this is not true in all cases. We always aim to fix the problem, not just “bandaid” it. These types of injections provide quick relief and return to function.
There are several keys to making these types of injections successful. One is knowing if your diagnosis and situation are right for this treatment. Two is knowing which medicine to give, how much, how often, and where to place it. This all comes from nearly 25 years of practice experience and then applying that to your individualized case. We customize your treatment based on need, not “cookie cutter” formulas.
Corticosteroids are naturally occurring in the body. By administering additional synthetic corticosteroid (aka “steroid”) in your injection, we are merely “tipping the scale” for your body’s own natural healing. We do not use “Cortisone” but we use high quality steroid brand known as Kenalog. We have found it to give the most effect with least side effects for our patients. Synthetic steroids have great use in certain cases. This will be discussed with you in detail depending on your situation.
The goal of this treatment option is to:
- Decrease pain
- Decrease inflammation
- Improve function
- Facilitate the healing of the injury
- Progress rehab or exercise program
- Avoid need for surgery
Once we have determined this is the right treatment for you, it is typically administered the same day as your consultation or follow up visit. We clean the skin, numb the area, and inject it along with local anesthetic (Lidocaine or Bupivacaine) typically with ultrasound guidance depending on the area. Then, you are able to relax for 5-10 minutes in office while we wrap up the visit and you can go about your day.
With a steroid injection, you may get a few hours of relief with the local anesthetic but the steroid itself usually takes 3-4 days to take effect and sometimes up to a week. The relief from triamcinolone can last months or be permanent.
There are pros/cons to this type of injection. We can discuss these options more fully during your visit to see if they are right for you.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
With high quality, low dose, and low frequency steroid use, risks and complications are very low. It is commonly known that repeat use of steroids (especially “Cortisone”) and at higher dosage can be harmful for tendon and joints. That is why we are very cautious and strategic with selecting these options. They can still be superior treatment in comparison to other options. This takes a skilled and experienced provider to navigate and know when this is the right choice.
You are not a good candidate for steroids if you have any of the following (list is not complete but these are the most common):
- Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- History of severe bone loss or osteoporosis
- Recent or current infection
- Adrenal issues
- Prior sensitivity to steroids
It is most valuable to schedule a consultation to discuss your issue, goals, and whether steroid injection treatment is the best option for you. We look forward to meeting you!