Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cortisone Injections

A rather common treatment in podiatric care is the cortisone injection or in general terms a steroid injection. This is also known by other trade names like Celestone, Kenalog, Dexamethasone Phosphate, and Depo-Medrol and is a close version of our body’s own cortisone hormone. Our bodies naturally produce cortisone, however in a relatively short-acting form. The synthetic form that podiatrists inject targets a specific site and can last up to a several weeks.

Cortisone injections are used for a variety of conditions, but the overall theme is that they are very good at suppressing the immune system. By doing so, this reduces the inflammation, pain, and swelling at the site of injury. Cortisone is not a pain-reliever, but if the foot pain is caused from inflammation then it will result in relief. Some conditions that can be treated by a cortisone injection include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, neuroma pain, and other inflammatory conditions. For tendon inflammation, your podiatrist may want to inject around the tendon, but not directly in it because this can cause further weakness of the tendon.

The big question among kids and adults alike…Does it hurt? Well it can be slightly painful, but it depends on the needle size and where the injection is targeted. In our office we commonly use a cold spray topically to ease the pain of injecting the medication. Numbing medication, such as lidocaine, may also be injected with the cortisone to help provide instant relief. Depending on your condition your podiatrist may need to do a second, and possibly third round of a cortisone injection to effectively knock out the pain. Often podiatrists don’t want to give more than 3 in a time frame. And as always if you have any problems with your feet, come by and see Dr.Grimm and Dr.Pattison at Foot Associates of Central Texas.