Cortisone is a type of steroid that is produced naturally by the adrenal gland, released when your body is under stress. Natural cortisone is released into the blood stream and is relatively short-acting. Injectable cortisone is synthetically produced but is closely related to the body’s own product. The most significant differences are that synthetic cortisone is not injected into the blood stream, but into a particular area of inflammation. Also, the synthetic cortisone is designed to act more potently and for a longer period of time (days rather than minutes).
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication, not a pain reliever. When pain is decreased from cortisone, it’s due to the inflammation being diminished. By injecting the cortisone into a particular area of inflammation, very high concentrations of the medication can be given while keeping potential side-effects to a minimum.
"Patients who undergo cortisone injections usually see positive results in just a few days, and the effects can last several weeks," says Dr. Steven R. Hardage, orthopedist at Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center. "These have positive results because patients can return to work pain-free for a period of time."
Inflammation is an underlying problem of bursitis, arthritis, trigger finger, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, making them all amenable to cortisone shots.
For more information about cortisone shots and their benefits, seek the assistance of an orthopedic physician at Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center by calling (918) 494-9377.