Cortisone injections are anti-inflammatory local injections that have the following benefits:
- Pain relief from inflammation associated with tendons and surrounding bursae (swollen sheaths of tendons)
- Reduction of swelling
- Reduction of the symptom of 'impingement' (two structures causing pain by excessively rubbing against each other)
The environments in which cortisone injections offer the most benefit are the following:
- Impingement lesions, such as ITB friction syndrome of the knee, trochanteric bursitis of the hip, and rotator cuff impingement of the shoulder (without major tendon damage).
- Conditions where the prognosis for long-term improvement is very good due to removal of overuse trigger for injury.
- Situations where short-term pain relief is by far the major priority for management.
Some of the possible negative effects of cortisone injections are:
- Weakening of tendons if further excessive load is continued soon after the injection, possibly leading to tendon rupture (this is THE most significant side effect).
- Infection (unusual but can occur)
- Skin reaction (can happen but usually mild)
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