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Readers Respond: Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

Responses: 491


Updated January 13, 2010

A bit disappointed

I had a cortisone injection in my ankle a week ago. It was pretty uncomfortable but my ankle is hyper-sensitive anyway so I was more aware of the pain. My ankle is still bruised from the needle now but after two days the swelling almost completely disappeared and I can now see my ankle bone that I forgot even existed for a whole year! However I'm still in a huge amount of pain and no extra movement has come back. My ankle is really stiff and I still have a bad limp. My pain and stiffness is caused by osteoarthritis following a serious accident I had over a year ago. My specialist has told me that if the injection works in reducing my pain then he will look into fusing my ankle as the exact issue with the pain is unknown at the moment and he thinks by reducing the movement permanently it will stop my pain and help the arthritis. I had a few sleepless nights after my injection and there was bleeding for a few days after too and none of this was explained to me prior to the procedure.

shot to the shoulder

I had the shot yesterday and surprisingly I felt no pain at all. My shoulder which had a small tear, actually feels much better. My range of motion is also better. I did have insomnia, sweats, and rapid heart racing but after I was able to calm myself down...I felt better. Didn't really like the intinal side effects but considering the amount if pain I was in and the fact that I could move my arm, I think it was a good idea to have it done.
—Guest Elisha


I received a steroid injection in the elbow yesterday for tendonitis. About 6 hours later pain set in and now 20 hours later I'm still experiencing excruciating pain. Much worse than the tendonitis ever was. I'm hoping it will be short-lived because now I can't even use my arm at all. Ultimately the long-term pain relief better pay off or I will never subject myself to this painful experience again!
—Guest Viv

help! my face is on FIRE!!

Just got my 1st cortisone shot for a partial tear on my right rotatory cuff yesterday and was told there was NO reaction. I asked several times cause im just that person who will have one just because that how it goes..Anyways, couple hours after hurt worse than before with tightness and soreness,which Im assuming is natural reaction. BUT apparently it made me super hyper with horrible headache..this morning headache was still there plus sore throat and still very hyper..Im not liking this one bit.If I knew this was gonna happen id done without the shot. Well wishes and best of luck to you all
—Guest GoodLawdMyFaceisOnFire

Thank heavens for cortisone shots

I am 56 and active. I am not in a big rush to have total knee replacement. I know the side effects of cortisone shots and for me the benefit out ways the risks. The cortisone shots relieve the inflammation to the point I can "function". This means I can do stairs, walk, sleep, get into the shower. What I can't do is squat to get to my lower kitchen cabinets or garden. I have had cortisone shots by two different Dr's. I went to a Dr. closer because one that usually does it is over 90km. When the Dr. that was close did it, I thought I would die from the pain. Now I only go to the Dr. that is further away. So it would seems to me that cortisone shots are also only effective if the Dr. doing them is skilled at the procedure. Because of the sever arthritis in my left knee it is starting to effect my left hip -fraying of the labrum. I now have to have cortisone shots in it. Again these work, but the first 72 hours are painful because of the depth of the injection.
—Guest tricompartmental knee arthritis

Side effects

Doc didn't tell me I'd have a puffy face ( it's been 8 days since injection) instant weight gain, 4 pounds so far , depression and irritability-was my first and hopefully only joint steroid injection, pain improvement is excellent, but not worth the side effects listed above, at least for me- oh day after felt like I had the flu and my face, in particular, my nose, was markedly red and bumpy
—Guest Cynthia

never informed of side effects either. .

I recieved 3 shots yesterday. I was never informed of any side effects. Called doctor with no response......I dont know what to do.....EXTREME PAIN......
—Guest Trisha

Never again

Was told might have a slight bruise and that was all I was told. Have bruise but also got massive headache, not able to sleep and the pain is worse now than before the shot. This is day 5 after shot and still no relief. The ortho dr wanted me to go this route and not knee replacement. Won't agree to this again. Will either have to live with the pain and find a different dr. If you don't know what the dr is giving you by all means ask lots of questions. I know I will next time.
—Guest Sher


Such a good site to get confirmation that the side effects I'm having ,appear to be normal ! Second set of knee injection' no side effects from first set! Thank you for the information .
—Guest Isle of wighter

partial torn elbow tendons

Due to years of weight lifting, both of my elbows have partial tendon tears. I have been receiving cortisone shots twice a year in each arm for the past 3 years, and have not skipped a beat in my workout routine. Shots sure beat surgery so I am well pleased
—Guest legosi30

Spine L4-L5 Injection

Had injection 2 days ago. Wish I hadn't waited so long. Pain is almost completely gone and hope it stays that way. The only side effects were waking up at 4:00 yesterday and 2:00 am this morning. Hopefully I will be able to get a complete night of sleep soon. I'll give up a couple of nights of full sleep for the comfort level I've had so far.
—Guest Rudy

Two injections at once

I had my hip and knee injected at same time and I have had flu like symptoms as well as a nervous feeling and insomnia!..! I took Benadryl and it helped some but still not feeling well. Hip has a torn labrum and also torn meniscus knee so they may not help anyway..but I do trust my doctor and know he wouldn't give them unless it was safe .
—Guest Zane


I have had 1 shot in my left knee for Osteoarthritis which helped immensely, then moved on to the OrthoVisic. The pain comes and goes and I know I will have eventual knee replacement, But this has been a life saver. I have had the right one injected as well and will do one more prior to deciding when to do surgery.
—Guest Susan

Not told about side effects

Received a shot today for knee pain. Had one about 10 years ago, but had no side effects. This time its totally different. Woke up at 2 am with a severe headache and knee pain. The pain is worse than it was before. After reading some of these reviews, its comforting to know that I am not the only person suffering from these side effects. But, I am very displeased that I was not given this information by my physician. I am also a Type 2 diabetic, and absolutely no mention was given to me about an increase in my glucose level. Thank goodness there is information on the internet about these side effects. Its comforting to know about this. However, I am definitely sending an email to my doctor letting him know how disappointed I am that he didn't take the time to inform me of this.
—Guest Notahappycamper

Don't stop taking your other meds

I had my first steroid injections into my hand about a week ago now. It was eight shots into two of my fingers. I am so excited to get my next set of shots now. Overall strength in the hand was nearly doubled, and in one of my fingers I had three times the strength that I normally have. I used my grip master constantly, and wearing my dynamic finger brace was a breeze. I was not warned by here or anywhere that it would work better than morphine, so I did get really sick because I stopped taking my meds. I stopped once before to see if I could, and it was the same thing. But overall the steroids are great. I loved feeling like I was 20 years younger, and the feeling of drifting off to sleep is beautiful.
—Guest Handyman

Would You Have Had a Shot

Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

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