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

Responses: 351


Updated January 13, 2010

First Injection - Working Well

I went to the orthopaedist w/intense knee pain - thought it had been dislocated. Turns out it's a Baker's Cyst, and a cortisone shot was suggested. Had it yesterday, started feeling relief in 2-3 hrs, slept well, and am having a good day today. BUT, I did "feel funny" shortly after the injection, fainted, and promptly recovered in about 5-10 mins. Small price to pay for so much relief.
—Guest GuestIrene

Would Definitely Do It Again

Last week, I had a cortisone shot in my left knee in order to hopefully alleviate the severe pain that I was having because of severe arthritis. It was the best decision that I have ever made because after the shot, I did have the steroid flare that everyone here is talking about, i.e. the painful knee to the point of where I wanted to cry, but after the pain wore off, my knee felt better than it has in a long time. Also, today, I had a second injection in my right knee and I am now experiencing steroid flare but it is not too bad. I am sure that my experience is different than most others because I was lucky enough to find a great orthopedic doctor who took the time to explain to me what side effects to expect and how to deal with them. Thank you, Dr. Saslow, for allowing me to walk normally for the first time in a long time.
—Guest Yes

Cortisone for Plantars Faciatas

I was not give any of the side effects of cortisone from my extremely busy doctor. I had shots into both of my feet that were extremely painful but the pain went away fairly quickly. My feet this mornig for the first time in two years were achey but much better then they have been. Some of my side effects were Nervousness, Severe headache, Nauseous & last night I had severe hot flashes ( but I am in menopaus). I am going to see how long the side effests go on & how long my feet feel better before I go for another.....
—Guest No

Considering this

I'm an RN and also a dancer. A few weeks ago, I gave myself plantar fasciitis during a strenuous class and the doctor recommended rest, ice, support, Vitamin B12 and cortisone shots as a next phase. We're at the next phase. What really gets me are all these folks blaming the docs for not giving them the side effects....why didn't you take responsibility and become part of your own health-care team? Why did you look up the side effects AFTER the fact? Yes, we're supposed to educate you, but with only 15-20 minutes allowed by your insurance, you have to do your part too. I'm sorry some of you had problems; but next time, go into the procedure well-informed and make a fully informed decision because YOU took control of YOUR health! I'm going ahead with these shots after spending awhile online looking stuff up tonight. I know the risks, have my questions for my doctor and can make the decision best for me based on my reading and research. It's not hard, just DO it!
—Guest ahenra


I'm glad I didn't read these comments before I had my first injection five years ago, or I would have been too frightened to have it. Fortunately for me, I had none of the negative reactions mentioned here. I was immediately pain-free for the first time in 3 years, and the first shot lasted more than 3 months. I got a second one that lasted less than a month, and a third one in the hope that the short-lived second one was a fluke - it wasn't. I had my left hip replaced in 2007 (at age 53). I was aware that I had arthritis in my right hip, but really had no serious symptoms until fall 2010. Had my first injection in the right hip a month ago; again, it was wonderful to be able to put my pants on standing up, to walk at normal speed, to tie my shoes, and to squat and get up! But it only lasted about 3 weeks, and my limitations have all returned. I won't have surgery for at least a year, so ... glad summer is coming and I'll be able to get in the pool for some exercise!
—Guest Not all of them -

Feel like a new person

Received an injection March 2011 for a tear in my rotator cuff. By the time I left the Dr. office and home (20 minutes) the pain was almost gone. It took a couple of days and I was pain free, sleeping thru the night, being able to lift my arm etc. pain free. I just finished physical therapy and I feel wonderful. I have no hesitation regarding these injections, they don't heal but give me relief to be able to live normally. I did have bruising at the site & a slight tenderness which was nothing compared to the pain I had. Of course, no heavy lifting etc.. Also, I have a wonderful doctor.
—Guest Pat

Never Again

I am 26 and I recently had cortisone injection into my lumbar spine. I was only told about pain and redness at the injection site and increased pain for about a week. Not only did the shot not work at all, but the side effects are simply awful. Even if the shot had worked, these side effects would not have been worth it. I also can't find anything about when they will stop. Not only was I never told this could be a side effect, I never found it listed as a possible side effect when doing research. I'm extremely upset and frustrated. There is no way I would have done this if I'd known. NEVER AGAIN!
—Guest Kelly

Had two looking at the third

Knew about some side effects but had none with either injection. I have had hip arthritis for three years have had two injections and been free from pain for three years until twodays ago when i lifted something wrong.
—Guest Don




had the shot in my elbow today, was told it would hurt for a couple of days, not informed of any other side effects, it felt as though the needle went into my bone and was extremely painful, have not been able to use my arm all day as pain is greatly increased, don't think i will be doing it again.
—Guest karen Phillips


I had my first shot on Friday. I studied the effects and after effects and felt comfortable going for it. I've been in severe pain for the past few years from a broken upper arm that didn't heal properly and hence, caused what the doctor calls "severe athritis" in my shoulder. I've lost any significant range of motion and can't even hold a newspaper without pain. I had the shot on Friday and today (Sunday) I was able to read and hold the paper without pain and I'm looking forward to changing my sheets without help (although my neighbor advises not to do anything strenuous for a few days). No side effects but, since I can sleep without being woken every half hour with pain, have been sleeping most of the past few days.

cortisone in knee for arthritis

Had the injection yesterday. No adverse effects. First time in over 15 years I can walk, not crawl upstairs and am almost pain free. Have had same results when I had cortisone for heel spurs 20 years ago which never recurred. For many years needed the medro packs as a last resort for acute allergies which always provided relief in 24 hours with never any side effects. After years of suffering finally was given this miracle drug. Never occurred to me to ask for it for my advanced knee arthritis plus spurs and when my Dr mentioned it yesterday I knew I could tolerate it and hoped for minimal relief. The relief I have is absolutely miraculious and I would certainly recommend others to give it a try before going into surgery (for which I was a candidate).
—Guest Lee


Does anyone think it might be possible that because some people have a positive response and others a negative, that it is possible that some doctors have better skills at injecting cortizone than others. I had 1st for heel spurs & positive results; again for trigger finger shot hurt very bad but helped; 2 weeks ago for reinjure of rotator cuff and having terrible pain. Injection produced a flushed face and relief from pain over complete body--thought it was from old age, 68, but found that I must have arthritis. I've been a new person and pain free. Never felt better, at least for the past 10 years.
—Guest Sandra Vance

Did not know side effects

I had two injections yesterday, and glad for this site, as see my side effects are normal...flushed face, fluctuating body temp from hot flashes to chills, nausea and nervousness. I can live with these, as my pain is a lot better for rotator cuff situation and trigger finger.
—Guest 75 year old

Never do it again!

I had been in great pain for 2mos with tennis elbow. Told my doctor & he suggested getting a cortizone shot. I wasn't told about any of the possible side-effects. First I received a white spot the size of a 50cent piece; next I lost the fatty tissue & now I have weird intention; now have bruising & blood spots that show up if anything touches the area (skin thinning/ & this is after a year. Now I look like I have a deformed injured elbow. Pain is now coming back, but stayed away for 10months. Never do it again!
—Guest pat

Would You Have Had a Shot

Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Orthopedics
  4. Arthritis
  5. Arthritis Treatment
  6. Injections
  7. Side-Effects of Cortisone Shots - Your Experience With a Cortisone Shot

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