Steroid Injections

Introduction

Steroid injections are typically administered to treat symptoms associated with osteoarthritis or other conditions that cause inflammation in a joint. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and causes pain and stiffness to the knee, making it difficult to take part in daily activities like working or participating in sports.

Activity modification, physical therapy and taking anti-inflammatory medications are often initial treatments prescribed for this condition. If there is no relief with these treatments, steroid injections are often the next step prior to considering surgical treatment. The corticosteroid medication in these injections acts to decrease inflammation, which helps relieve the pain caused by the inflammation. However, steroid injections are a temporary source of relief, and typically last anywhere from days to several months. It is a short-term solution to a chronic problem.

Prior to the injection, the area is often numbed with an anesthetic spray. Patients can expect to feel a few hours of pain relief due to the local anesthetic that is included with the injection. Once the anesthetic wears off, there is increased soreness for 36-48 hours until the steroid begins to take effect. This soreness can be treated with application of ice packs for 20-minute intervals as long as necessary.

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