What is a Corticosteroid?
Corticosteroid injections are often administered to relieve pain and promote healing.
Corticosteroid's primary functions are to increase blood sugar, suppress the immune system, and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation.
Researchers generally find that there is a good short-term benefit from corticosteroids but there are some long-term side effects, which may be less desirable.
Some patients report good initial relief before a recurrence of symptoms.
Unfortunately, as with most drugs there are side effects and corticosteroids should be cautiously especially with diabetics. Whether you are suitable candidate for a corticosteroid injection should be discussed with your doctor. Diabetes and other general health issues can limit its safe use.
The best results have been shown to occur when the injection is performed under ultrasound guidance.
How often cortisone injections are given varies based on the reason for the injection. This is determined on a case-by-case basis by the health care practitioner. If a single cortisone injection is curative, then further injections are unnecessary. Sometimes, a series of injections might be necessary; for example, cortisone injections for a trigger finger may be given every three weeks, to a maximum of three times in one affected finger. In other instances, such as knee osteoarthritis, a second cortisone injection may be given approximately three months after the first injection, but the injections are not generally continued on a regular basis.