Steroid, corticosteroid, or cortisone injections are also referred to as Depo-Medrol, celestone, triamcinolone, kenalog.
Cortisone shots are something you go to the doctor for. You call,make an appointment for one and they are typically available at theoffices of orthopedic physicians and surgeons.
Listing Author: Johnathan Wood, PA-C, ATC
Typically administered along with a mixture of an anesthetic (numbing) medication such as lidocaine or Marcaine, cortisone is a powerful, fast acting anti-inflammatory which helps alleviate pain in the injected area by reducing inflammation. Results may last weeks, months, or years depending on underlying etiology of symptoms.
In instances of simple irritation as with overuse conditions or mild trauma like bursitis or tendinitis, it may permanently relieve symptoms. If there is a more complicated reason for inflammation (as with torn cartilage or tendons), the effects may be temporary.
The most common side effects are injection-site pain, swelling, or bruising around the injection site; most of these side effects are mild and short-lived.
Some individuals experience allergic type reactions (flushing of skin, itching, etc), but this is usually in response to the anesthetic component rather than the steroid; immediately contact your physician should you experience any of these reactions, particularly if accompanied by shortness of breath, as they may indicate the development of a more serious condition. If you have a known allergy to this category of medications, consult with your physician before receiving a cortisone injection.
Occasionally one may experience temporary mild atrophy or local skin depigmentation (lightening of skin pigment).
Special Considerations for those with diabetes and hypertension:
Diabetic patients should be aware that cortisone injections will usually elevate blood glucose levels for 3-5 days after administration of injection.
Patients with hypertension should be aware that steroid injections may temporarily elevate blood pressure.
Allergy to anesthetic component, skin infection or disease at injection site. Uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension are relative contraindications.
Multiple injections into a single joint within a short time frame is usually not recommended as repeated doses of cortisone can soften and breakdown healthy cartilage.