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Cortisone Injection (cont.)

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Is a cortisone injection merely a pain reliever or temporary remedy?

Corticosteroids are not pain relievers. They reduce inflammation. When corticosteroids relieve pain, it is because they have reduced inflammation.

While the inflammation for which corticosteroids are given can recur, corticosteroid injections can provide months to years of relief when used properly. These injections also can cure diseases (permanently resolve them) when the problem is tissue inflammation localized to a small area, such as bursitis and tendonitis. They can also cure certain forms of skin inflammation.

For what conditions are cortisone injections used?

Cortisone injections can be used to treat the inflammation of small areas of the body (local injections), or they can be used to treat inflammation that is widespread throughout the body (systemic injections). Examples of conditions for which local cortisone injections are used include inflammation of a bursa (bursitis of the hip, knee, elbow, or shoulder), a tendon (tendinitis such as tennis elbow), and a joint (arthritis). Knee osteoarthritis, hip bursitis, painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, and many other conditions may be treated with cortisone injections. Injections of cortisone and an anesthetic such as lidocaine are sometimes used to confirm a diagnosis. For example, if pain in the buttock and groin improves after a cortisone injection in the hip, the pain is caused by hip arthritis rather than arthritis in the low back. Epidural injections in the lumbar spine (lumbar epidural) are cortisone injections inserted into a specific location in the spinal canal of the low back by a specialist under X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy). These injections may help relieve back pain or sciatica. Systemic corticosteroid injections are used for more widespread conditions affecting many joints or the skin, such as allergic reactions, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/17/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/cortisone_injection/article.htm

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