When will my doctor prescribe steroid injections?
The decision to prescribe steroids is always made on an individual basis. Your doctor will consider your age, physical activity and other medications you are taking. Your doctor will also make sure you understand the potential benefits and risks of steroid injections.
What are the expected benefits of steroid injections?
The main benefits to the patient are to decrease pain and increase function. Steroid injections often reduce joint inflammation, helping preserve joint structure and function.
Local injections are generally well-tolerated and are less likely to produce serious side effects than other forms of steroid medications.
Steroid injections may help avoid the need for oral steroids or increased doses of oral steroids, which could have greater side effects.
What are the potential disadvantages of steroid injections?
Steroid injections are one of the most effective ways to decrease pain and improve function, yet they generally do not cure the illness.
Some brief and typically minor pain at the time of the injection is common.
In rare instances, the following side effects might occur:
- Allergic reactions.
- Local bleeding.
- Rupture of a tendon.
- Prolonged pain.
- Skin discoloration.
Excessively frequent, repeated injections into the same area can cause the bone, ligaments and tendons to weaken.