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Navigating the Pros and Cons of Cortisone Injections

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


Cortison Injection

Cortisone injections, a common orthopedic treatment, involve the use of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in joints or soft tissues. While inflammation is a natural part of the healing process, cortisone is administered when inflammation becomes pathological or lingers longer than necessary. These injections provide short-term pain relief but do not contribute to tissue healing. They are beneficial for conditions arising from inflammatory issues.


Cortisone injections can offer temporary pain relief, enabling patients to engage in strengthening exercises for lasting results. However, these shots have limitations and potential drawbacks. While effective for certain conditions like frozen shoulder and trigger finger, they may provide only short-term relief for osteoarthritis. Additionally, repeated injections into the same joint can have negative effects on soft tissues and cartilage over time.


Soft tissue injuries, tendinopathies, and impingement injuries may not benefit from cortisone injections in the long term and could pose risks to the structural integrity of these tissues. Some studies suggest that for conditions like tennis elbow, cortisone injections may not provide medium to long-term benefits and could lead to symptom recurrence.


In summary, cortisone injections are a valuable tool for addressing specific orthopedic injuries, particularly those with pathological inflammation. They can offer a window of pain relief, allowing for rehabilitation. However, they are not a universal solution, and their use should be carefully considered based on individual factors and in consultation with a healthcare professional.

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