Last week we talked about osteoarthritis of the knee and today we’re gonna talk about cortisone injections, steroid injections, what do they do? A steroid is an anti-inflammatory, so when we put it in the knee joint, it usually helps to decrease the inflammation and you can use this for conditions like osteoarthritis and help to decrease pain. So a question often comes up. Are there any side effects to corticosteroids? The steroid injections we put in the knee, yes, it can discolor the skin.
If you’re African American like I am, if you get too much or some people it can discolor ’em and give them a hypopigmented la, uh, area where they lose the color in their skin right at the site of the uh, injection. For a Caucasian person, it could cause hyperpigmentation where they have a darkened spot at the site of the injection.
This doesn’t happen all the time, but it could also, you have to be conscious of the fact that steroids can increase your blood sugar. So if you’re a diabetic, you really want to pay attention to your blood sugars as the steroids can increase your blood sugars. And over time you can have some thinning of the cartilage if you have too many injections. So how often can you have a steroid injection in the knee? You can have several in the course of a year. I usually say no more than three or four.
If you have one injection and you get some relief, then you can come back in about six to eight weeks and have a second injection. But if the first injection gave you no relief and you had a second one with no relief, I don’t think there’s any indication to keep on doing injections.
Some people have to choose injections as a form of treatment because they’re not a surgical candidate or they’re choosing not to have a total knee uh, replacement. And you really don’t need a total knee replacement unless you have severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
Now what is important? It is important to keep up with how many injections you are having and where you have the injections. So in my book on knockout pain for back pain, I have a good chart that you can copy if you go to that book and look inside and where you can put the dates you had injection, whoever’s the site injection, and the doctor that did the injection.
This is important information so that if you go from one doctor to another, you’ll be able to tell them that I already had an injection in the knee on this date where and who did it so that you can keep up with how many cortisol corticosteroid injections you’ve had over course of time. I hope you find this information beneficial as steroid injections can be beneficial to treating you for knee pain, but you want to make sure that you keep up with how many you’ve had and if it works, you should know immediately.