Corticosteroids are commonly used in sports medicine to address an array of acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries that are causing pain and swelling. Dr. Yoon is trained and experienced in deciding when and where to use corticosteroid, the benefits to you, and how often treatment should be administered.
What are corticosteroids?
Corticosteroids are a synthetic class of drug that mimics the naturally produced hormone cortisol that is produced in the adrenal glands. Cortisol is released in response to physical stress associated injury. Cortisol is a factor in a wide range of processes in the body including inflammation. When injected at levels that exceed your body’s normal levels, it acts as an immunosuppressant to reduce swelling and pain.
For what conditions are corticosteroid injections considered?
This medication is most commonly injected into joints. Athletes are frequently given this injection for:
- Many joint injuries where swelling and pain has slowed or stopped the ability to use that joint normally or when inflammation persists and is considered to be impeding the normal process of healing.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Many activity-related knee injuries
What’s the procedure for corticosteroid injections?
Dr. Yoon will perform a comprehensive examination of the injury that may include imaging to isolate the exact location and nature of the injured tissue. A complete review of your medical history is done, including any allergies and reactions to medications.
This review also investigates chronic or reoccurring injuries and illnesses you may have experienced. During your consultation, goals are established with regard to recovery time and post-healing performance. Dr. Yoon will go over possible side effects and acceptable frequency of corticosteroids.
- The injection site is numbed with a topical spray and the medication itself typically includes a numbing medication.
- The injection is often performed with ultrasound guidance so that the corticosteroid is introduced precisely where it will do the most good.
- If the shot is delivered to a joint that has developed too much fluid, the excess fluid is drawn out prior to the injection.
- Pain and swelling are symptoms, not causes. Once you are out of pain, Dr. Yoon will discuss non-invasive ways to stimulate organic healing for your injury.
How soon will I feel results of corticosteroids?
Numbing agents may take you out of pain immediately but wears off in a matter of hours. The benefits of the corticosteroids may take two to five days to be felt.