Cortisone (Steroid) injection

BY DR DANIEL MEYERKORT, KNEE SURGEON, PERTH ORTHOPAEDIC & SPORTS MEDICINE CENTRE

What is Cortisone Injection?

Cortisone is a powerful anti inflammatory that has been taken as a pill or injected into a joint. It has a long historical use as a treatment for knee arthritis.

Is Cortisone good for my knee pain / arthritis?

Recent studies have shown that cortisone has a similar effect to placebo (saline) injections for knee pain and arthritis. Worse still, the patients in the cortisone group were found to be destroying their cartilage at a faster rate on MRI scan. For this reason, I recommend most patients trial an exercise program + weight loss (if indicated) as their first line treatment for knee arthritis. A link to the article can be found here.

Is Cortisone ever useful for knee pain / arthritis?

Yes, for patients that have a very painful flare of their symptoms, cortisone can be useful to help settle symptoms back to baseline levels, enabling you to start an exercise program which will provide long term benefit.

FAQS

How long does a cortisone shot last within the knee?

Cortisone usually has a very powerful, but short-lasting effect on pain reduction. Most patients experience a few weeks of pain relief before the injection wears off. Recent studies have shown cortisone to be no more effective than saline (placebo!) for the relief of knee pain.

Do you need to rest after a cortisone injection?

It is recommended to rest for 48 hours after an injection before you consider exercise, gym, bike riding or physiotherapy.

Does a cortisone shot in the knee hurt?

Local anaesthetic is used to numb you skin and discomfort levels are low after a cortisone injection.

Are cortisone injections in the knee bad for you?

Repeat cortisone injections into your knee joint have  been shown to be damaging to the remaining cartilage in the joint. Cortisone can also increase your blood sugar, making harder for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar.

What is the best injections for your knee?

A tricky question! If you are looking to avoid knee surgery, the best treatment for your knees is a muscle strengthening exercise program and weight loss (if required). 

Clinic Locations

West Perth, Joondalup, Canningvale