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A corticosteroid injection is an injection of a local anesthetic with a steroid such as Kenalog or Depo-Medrol into either the knee. Corticosteroid injections are helpful at temporarily decreasing inflammation and pain in a joint affected by osteoarthritis.
Potential Risks: Pain at injection site, flushing of the skin, impaired glucose tolerance, tendon rupture, infection, anaphylaxis.
Patients who are diabetic, take a blood thinner (warfarin, Plavix, Atrixa), have the flu or infection of any kind should inform their provider before receiving an injection. You should not have a steroid injection if you have experienced an adverse reaction to steroids in the past.
If you have had previous steroid injections please let your provider know as this may increase your risk of infection and tendon rupture.
What results can I expect?Following injection you may feel immediate relief of your symptoms. This can be attributed to the local anesthetic. The anti-inflammatory properties of the injection will not be evident for 1-2 weeks. The day after the injection you may be sore. This usually will respond to ice and acetaminophen. The duration of pain relief experienced from a cortisone injection varies between individuals, but on average most people experience several months of relief.
How often can I get injections?You may not have more than 1 injection per joint more frequently than every three months. You should not have more than 4 injections in 1 year because this can increase your risk of infection and tendon rupture.
If at anytime you have redness that is spreading around the injection site, fever, chills or increasing pain not controlled by acetaminophen you should call the office immediately as these symptoms may indicate localized infection.
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