One of the most common reasons that you may need to consider knee or hip replacement surgery is because you are suffering from a type of arthritis. The types of arthritis can vary, although will typically either be post-traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
There are treatments that can be tried in advance of surgery to try and control the effects of arthritis, amongst which are cortisone injections.
What are cortisone injections?
Cortisone is actually a type of steroid which helps target inflammation around joints. The injections are administered by a GP or other medical professional, such as a rheumatologist (an expert in musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions), an orthopaedic surgeon (a surgeon who specialises in conditions involving the musculoskeletal system), a rheumatology nurse (specialists work with people with all kinds of arthritis-related conditions) or a physiotherapist.
The health professional that you are seeing will be able to recommend the most suitable make up of the steroids within the cortisone injection, and this will be guided by your particular symptoms and severity of your condition.
But just how effective are they?
Cortisone injections are considered very effective at providing temporary relief. They will not cure the underlying condition, but they will help provide pain relief around the affected joints. Most patients will be advised to couple cortisone injections with regular physical therapy (special exercises designed to help the affected joints), as this will have a longer term impact.
Are there risks?
Many people experience no side effects whatsoever from cortisone injections, they are considered a very safe option to try. Aside from moderate discomfort when the injection is administered, the chances of side effects are minimal.
It is possible to get an infection around the injection site itself, although it is very rare that this occurs. If you believe your injection site has become infected (if it is sore, red and warmer than the surrounding skin) then seek medical advice straight away to get this seen to.
If you have tried cortisone injections, coupled with targeted exercises and you are still in pain or discomfort, book an appointment to speak to a specialist such as Birmingham hip surgeon Manoj Sikand about the surgical alternatives. Cortisone injections and exercise can only go so far to helping alleviate pain once a condition such as arthritis has firmly set in to your hip or knee joint(s).