Steroid injections use a medicine called corticosteroid which reduces inflammation in your joint to relieve pain and allow you to move your joint to more easily.
Steroid injections can also be called corticosteroid, cortisone, or hydrocortisone injections, or may be referred to as injection therapy. Spinal steroid injections are also known as Epidural Steroid Injections. See the Spinal Injections page for further information on all spinal injections.
Steroid injections won’t cure the underlying problem or condition affecting your joint, but they may ease your symptoms. They are commonly used as part of a treatment plan to manage inflammation in the hip, shoulder, knee, foot and spine caused by injury, wear and tear or conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis and bursitis.
Your consultant may recommend steroid injections if rest, lifestyle changes and oral pain medication haven’t alleviated pain. While steroid injections aren’t a long term solution, they can alleviate symptoms to enable physiotherapy to build strength and prevent symptoms returning. It is possible to have repeated steroid injections, sometimes up to 4 a year.
A steroid injection will usually contain two medications. The cortisone which will reduce inflammation in the joint, and anaesthetic which will provide immediate pain relief.
The skin around the injection site will be cleaned with antiseptic and an anaesthetic spray or cream may be applied to numb the area. A needle is gently inserted into the affected area and the steroid medicine is then injected through the needle. For some joints your consultant may use ultrasound as a guide. You will feel some pressure when the needle is inserted, but most injections are relatively painless.
After the Procedure
You will be able to return home shortly after the procedure.
You may feel some discomfort, particularly as the anaesthesia wears off. At first the pain will be worse as it will take time for the steroid to start working. You can take pain medication as needed. An ice pack may help relieve pain and swelling, but heat should be avoided.
It is important to rest completely for 2 days with the affected joint immobilised as much as possible to maximise the effectiveness of the injection. You should avoid any strenuous activity for 1 week.
Depending on the condition being treated, it may take 2–4 weeks for your steroid injection to take full effect, and the effects may last for months or longer. Steroid injections are not always a long-term solution, but if your steroid injection was effective for a period of time, your consultant may recommend further injections.
At One Hatfield Hospital, we can book you in to see a specialist Orthopaedic or Pain Management Consultant for an initial consultation, usually within 48 hours.
As we are located in Hertfordshire, we are perfectly placed to see patients throughout nearby locations including St Albans, Stevenage, Watford, Welwyn, and throughout North London.
You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Steroid Injections treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance please do contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at either the One Ashford Hospital or One Hatfield Hospital.
Why One Healthcare
- Modern purpose-built hospital opened in March 2016 (Ashford) December 2017 (Hatfield)
- Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, Xray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
- Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little or no waiting time
- ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
- Freshly prepared food
- Calm, dignified experience
Mr Rajeev Sharma
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon - Upper Limb Surgery (Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand)
One Hatfield Hospital