Is Cortisone Safe for Osteoarthritis Patients? Find Out

Several medical treatments may be used for osteoarthritis, one of which is cortisone shots, medical experts say, referring to corticosteroid injections, which may comfort osteoarthritis pain by aiming at the site of the inflammation in the joint.

Pain from osteoarthritis is one that cannot be ignored. It is so painful that others may no longer tolerate it, and prefer to have a hip replacement done. True that this kind of operation helped many osteoarthritic patients but it cannot be denied also that it brought tremendous harm to its recipients. Just like the case of Stryker hip replacement recall, many suffered complications from it.

Cortisone shots are injections of synthetic corticosteroids, a hormone released in our body. Though, the corticosteroids in cortisone injections are man-made but are quite alike to the corticosteroids produced in our body. Aside from soothing osteoarthritis pain, cortisone injections are also used in tendinitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome therapy.

Despite the fact that cortisone injections are responsible for major osteoarthritis pain relief, they as well provide adverse side effects to its user. Some severe possible side effects of cortisone injections include:

Cortisone “flare” reaction

This happens in about two percent of people who get cortisone injections. This reaction transpires when the injected corticosteroids crystallize in your joint, resulting in severe pain. Flares typically dissolve within 12 to 48 hours with icing.

Damage to soft tissues

In some people who have cortisone injections, their cartilage unstiffens and their tendons deteriorate in the joint that is being treated, which may be long-lasting. This side effect is likely to occur when people are getting repeated cortisone shots.

High blood sugar

If you are diabetic, your blood sugar level might considerably rise after you receive a cortisone shot. People who have diabetes should be cautiously checked for 24 to 48 hours after being injected with cortisone.


Infection at the site of your injection is uncommon, but still considered as potential side effect of cortisone shots. Your likelihood of infection may be lessened if your skin is properly disinfected before you are given the injection.

In line with these risks, people are advised not to have cortisone injections more than two to four times a year. It is also best if you plan your injections at least three months apart.

Evidently, cortisone injections have a list of benefits, on the other hand, if overused, may generate some severe complications. It is better to know in advance the risks and benefits of cortisone injections before getting one.

 Carena Glines is a professional medical researcher, specializing on osteoarthritis and hip replacement surgery-related problems. If you want to know more, visit Stryker hip recall center at

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Author: Kathleen Hennis