Steroids (short for corticosteroids) are man-made drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone produced by your body’s adrenal glands. Steroids are used to decrease inflammation in a joint or tissue. Reducing inflammation reduces discomfort and pain.
What do steroid injections treat?
Steroid injections are used to treat such conditions as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflamed bursae (bursitis)
- Around inflamed tendons (tendonitis) near the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, hand or wrist
How are steroid injections performed?
Steroid injections are performed in the office exam room. You may need to change into a gown and will be positioned so the doctor can most easily insert the needle for the steroid injection. The injection site is cleaned and anesthetics are often used to numb the area. Ultrasound may also be used to ensure the needle is placed in the exact spot where the injury resides.
How often are steroid injections needed?
Depending on your condition, you could receive 2-3 steroid injections per year.
What is the recovery time from a steroid injection?
After a steroid injection, you will need to protect the injection area for a few days. You may also need to apply ice to the injection site, if there is discomfort or swelling.
What is the success rate for steroid injections?
Since injecting steroids into an inflamed joint allows a doctor to deliver a high dose of steroid directly to the injured area, they can be very effective in treating acute and chronic pain.