Steroid Injection Treatments

Injections into the area of inflammation can improve symptoms and may delay or even avoid the need for surgical treatments. For patients with joint pain, tendonitis, inflammatory conditions and bursitis, steroid injections can provide rapid relief in symptoms.

The injection is made up of a steroid (Kenolog) and a local anaesthetic. The local anaesthetic works within the first 10 minutes and the steroid tends to kick in after 3-4 days. The degree of benefit experienced from the injection is difficult to predict and can be variable. Generally, a rapid relief in symptoms occurs and this can last for anything from a few weeks to years. It is possible to have repeat injections every 4-6 months as long as the symptom relief continues.

Side effects are rare but include

  • Bruising
  • Hypopigmentation of skin – this can be permanent
  • Loss of fat at injection site – causing dimpling to the skin
  • Flare reaction – increase in pain 24-48hrs after the injection, this resolves after 24 hours
  • Fluctuations in blood sugars – diabetic patients need to closely monitor their sugar levels for 1 week
  • Infection – This is rare but redness, swelling and limited movement should be reported

The majority of injections are image guided using ultrasound performed by a consultant radiologist. Sometimes the injections can be performed in the clinic without the use of ultrasound.