What is a Cortisone Injection?
Cortisone is a natural substance released by the adrenal gland and is the most potent anti-inflammatory known to modern medicine.
Indications for Cortisone Injections
It is important to remember that cortisone is a potent anti-infalmmatory and not a pain-killer. It is extremely effective at treating and resolving conditions where an excessive inflammatory response is central to the problem. It will not fix other types of pain. When used appropriately it will not merely mask pain either. This is why it is important to have an expert diagnosis before a cortisone injection as it can be an extremely effective form of treatment but only when it is applied for the correct diagnosis at the correct time in the correct location.
Cortisone Injection Procedure
Preparations containing cortisone are injected directly into the affected area. Usually this is done in conjunction with a local anaesthetic. At Perth Sports Medicine we have medicare licenced ultrasound machines at each of our locations which can be used for enhanced accuracy of certain injections. Some injections do not require ultrasound as they can be done just as accurately and safely without it (make the procedure a bit cheaper) and we will always be sure to tell you when this is the case.
Risks and Complications of Cortisone Injections
Your doctor will discuss all of this with you at length before any injection. Like any other medical procedure there can be low rates of certain adverse effects. Uncommon side effects include a “cortisone flare”, a condition where cortisone crystallizes and causes pain for a brief period that lasts for a day or two. Cortisone flare can be minimized by applying ice to the injected area. Other adverse effects include whitening of the skin and infection at the injection site or a transient elevation in blood sugar if you are diabetic.