Steroid Injection Information
Steroid Injection Information
What is a corticosteroid injection?
Steroids are produced naturally within the body and are essential for good health. The steroids used for injections are similar to those produced naturally by your body. You will usually be having a steroid called either: triamcinolone (Kenalog) or methylpredisolone (depomedrone), which have longer-lasting effects than naturally produced steroids.
What are the benefits?
What are the alternatives to a steroid joint injection?
What are the risks?
It is uncommon to get any significant problems after an injection. The majority of people will have some discomfort during and after the injection together with slight swelling.
Other potential risks include
Infection: very rare probably 1 in 15000. If the area becomes hot painful and swollen for more that 24 hours, or if you feel generally unwell you should contact your Doctor/Surgeon immediately. If they are unavailable then you should seek advice from you General Practitioner of the Accident and Emergency Department.
Allergic reaction to the drug: this is very uncommon. You will be asked to wait for 10 minutes after the injection to check for any reactions
Skin depigmentation, dermal atrophy, adipose atrophy: the skin around the injection site may become thin or pale and sometimes the “fatty” layer under the skin shrinks away. If this occurs it usually improves over time but this can take many months.
Nerve injury: this may cause pain during the injection or rarely long lasting effects or nerve damage. Due to their close proximity to nerves, these injections can sometimes cause temporary muscle weakness of the arm or leg. Occasionally an injection around the hip may cause weakness in the leg that requires you to use crutches temporarily.
Tendon Injury: depending on the site of, and reason for the injection.
Flare of symptoms and increase in pain for 24-48 hours after the injection may occur. This is usually treated with analgesics, ice to cool the area and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory NSAID’s tablets if you are able to take them. Not everyone is able to take NSAID tablets such as ibuprofen/nurofen.
Increased blood sugars in diabetic patients: this may last for over 7 days with significant elevation of blood sugars
Facial flushing: particularly in ladies
Slight vaginal bleeding / menstrual irregularities
You should not have the injection carried out if you:
- Have any infection in the area or anywhere else in your body.
- Are allergic to local anaesthetic or steroid.
- Feel unwell.
- Are due to have surgery in that area soon.
- Are pregnant or breast feeding. You may still be able to have the injection depending upon the reason. Very small amounts of the steroid
enter breast milk.
- Have poorly controlled diabetes.
- Are taking any immunosuppressant medication
- Do not want the injection.
What happens during the injection?
A needle is gently positioned into the affected area and local anaesthetic solution is injected through the needle. Once the area is “numb” the corticosteroid will be injected. Pressure will be applied to the area to minimise bruising and an adhesive plaster will be applied. You will be kept for approximately 10 minutes after the injection to watch for any reaction.
What happens after the procedure?
This does not necessarily mean that you will need a second injection, so long as you follow the advice given to you after the injection.
What do I need to do after I go home?
Will I have a follow-up appointment?
Not everyone needing an injection requires a follow up appointment. Often your surgeon will ask you to telephone their secretary after 6 weeks if the injection has not been successful to arrange either another injection or an alternative treatment.
If the injected area/site becomes hot painful and swollen for more that 24 hours, or if you feel generally unwell you should contact your Doctor/Surgeon immediately via the Winterbourne Hospital switch board on 01305263252. If they are unavailable then you should seek advice from you General Practitioner of the Accident and Emergency Department.