Corticosteroid injection in knee

Can You Receive Multiple Corticosteroid Injections?

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, where our doctors focus on relieving pain and restoring function, corticosteroid injections are an important tool in our treatment regimens since they help to reduce inflammation, a major cause of pain. Corticosteroids mimic the effects of hormones your body naturally produces in your adrenal glands to reduce swelling and improve mobility.

We Successfully Treat a Broad Range of Problems With Corticosteroid Injections 

These shots are particularly effective in treating painful conditions of the spine as well as inflammation of joints, muscles, and nerves throughout the body. Our physiatrists have an excellent track record of helping to relieve symptoms of both. 

Spinal conditions helped by corticosteroid injections include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis and bone spurs
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated disc
  • Sciatica 

Other musculoskeletal/neuromuscular disorders helped by this treatment include:

  • ACL tears 
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hamstring injuries
  • Meniscus tears
  • Muscle spasms
  • Myofascial pain
  • Pinched nerves
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tennis elbow

It should be noted that spinal corticosteroid injections are administered under fluoroscopic guidance, while corticosteroid injections to other parts of the body are administered under ultrasound guidance. In either case, the chosen type of visualization makes our targeting of the region careful and precise.

How Frequently Are Corticosteroids Typically Administered

The frequency of corticosteroid injections varies depending on the patient’s diagnosis and their response to the treatment. Generally, it is recommended that patients receive no more than 3 to 4 injections per year in the same joint or area. This limitation is due to the potential for side effects and diminishing returns with frequent use. Our doctor will determine the best schedule for your injections based on your specific needs and health status.

Though it can take about a week for a cortisone shot to take effect, once it does, it should relieve your symptoms for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. You might only need a single cortisone shot to relieve pain and inflammation, especially if you’re recovering from a temporary injury. On the other hand, if you have a chronic condition, you may require future injections. 

Possible Side Effects of Corticosteroid Injections 

While corticosteroid injections are generally safe, they can have side effects, especially with repeated use. These may include joint infection, nerve damage, thinning of nearby bone (osteoporosis), tendon weakening or rupture, thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site, or temporary increase in pain and inflammation in the injected area. Our doctors will always weigh and discuss the balance of risks and benefits to determine your best options.

Not Everyone Is a Good Candidate for Corticosteroid Injections

Though extremely beneficial in a great many cases, corticosteroid injections are not suitable for everyone. Individuals who are pregnant or have uncontrolled type 1 diabetes, certain types of heart disease, bleeding abnormalities, or glaucoma may be advised against these injections. 

The Benefits of Corticosteroid Injections

Despite the potential side effects, corticosteroid injections offer numerous benefits. They can manage pain and inflammation effectively, especially during the healing process of an injury or flare-up of a chronic condition. These injections can provide rapid relief, improving the quality of life by enabling patients to participate in physical therapy and other rehabilitative exercises, thereby facilitating a quicker return to normal activities.

The Takeaway

Like all treatments, corticosteroid injections should be considered and administered under the care of a skilled professional. If you are in pain and think corticosteroid injections may be helpful in your case, contact one of our five convenient offices today. You will find our doctors compassionate as well as talented, ready to listen attentively, diagnose definitively, and determine whether the healing power of corticosteroid injections is right for you.