You are currently browsing the Osteoarthritis Blog blog archives for the day Thursday, July 8th, 2010.

Support and Brace Support and Brace


July 2010
« Jun   Aug »

Archive for July 8th, 2010

Cortisone Injection

Cortisone (corticosteroid) is a strong synthetic medication used to reduce inflammation in knees with osteoarthritis.  Resembling cortisol, a hormone produced naturally in the body, it works by suppressing the immune system.

Cortisone has been a treatment for knee osteoarthritis for over 50 years.  Though cortisone is used as a treatment for pain it is not a pain reliever.  The synthetic medication decreases inflammation.  It is not a cure for osteoarthritis nor does it change the course of the disease.

The effects of cortisone are kind of random.  People react differently to it.  Some get pain relief for days while for others it last for months.  Some people don’t get anything at all – depends on the patient.  However it is accepted that if the first couple of shots have little to no effect, then subsequent injections will probably not offer pain relief.

It is also agreed upon in the medical community that a patient should not exceed three cortisone shots per year.  Chronic use can lead to cartilage weakness, weakening of tendons and ligaments, and avascular necrosis (death of the bone).

When used correctly cortisone usually does not produce side effects.  It should not be taken by patients with infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, peptic ulcers of congestive heart failure.

If you tried cortisone and did not experience pain relief, or you have exceeded your annual limit of injections, or you have a medical condition that prevents you from using cortisone – do not be discouraged.  There are other treatment options available for your knee osteoarthritis.  Try an unloading  knee brace, a neoprene support brace, cold therapy, or magnetic therapy.