Joint Injection (Cortisone Shots)


Cortisone shots are injections that could assist in relieving pain and swelling in specific areas of the body. They are most frequently injected into the joints, such as the ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine, or wrist. Even the small joints in the hands or feet might get benefitted from cortisone shots.

The injections generally contain a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. Because of possible complications and other side effects, the number of shots that can be administered to patients in a year is generally limited.


Before the Cortisone shots

If patients take blood thinners, they might be asked by the doctors to stop consuming them for several days before taking the cortisone shot to decrease bleeding or bruising risk. Some dietary supplements also contain a blood-thinning effect. 

During the Cortisone shots

The area around the injection site is sanitized. The doctors might also apply an anaesthetic spray to deaden the area where the needle would get inserted. In certain instances, the doctor might use ultrasound or a type of X-ray known as fluoroscopy to watch the progress of the needle inside the body. People would probably feel some pressure when the needle gets inserted. The medicines are then released into the injection site. Usually, cortisone shots include a corticosteroid medication to relieve ache and swelling over time and anaesthesia to provide instant relief from pain.

After the Cortisone shots

After people take the cortisone shot, the doctors might ask people to:

  • Safeguard the injection area for a day or two.
  • Apply ice on the injection site as needed to relieve pain.
  • Watch for symptoms of infection, including increased pain, redness, and swelling that lasts more than 48 hours.


There are many possible side effects associated with high doses and repeated use of Cortisone shots, and some of them are:

  • Damage to cartilage
  • Infection in joints
  • Damage to the nerves
  • Increase in the blood sugar level
  • Thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site
  • Lightening of the skin around the injection site


Some people might have redness and a feeling of warmth in the chest and face after they take the cortisone shot. If people have diabetes, a cortisone shot might momentarily increase the blood sugar levels.


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