Steroid Injection therapy is a treatment that can be prescribed for the improvement of painful foot and ankle conditions that are associated with inflammation.
Injection therapy involves using a needle to inject a steroid into a joint space or soft tissue. The aim of injection therapy is to improve both pain and function of the structure affected.
Steroid injections may be suitable if you are experiencing pain due to:
Before a steroid injection is prescribed you will be required to have a consultation to establish the nature of the problem and assessment of suitability for the procedure.
The deciding factors are;
A steroid injection, sometimes referred to as a cortisone injection, is used to treat pain associated with inflammation.
Inflammation can occur in a number of joints and soft tissues of the ankle and foot, resulting in pain, restricted movement, and impaired function.
A steroid is not a painkiller directly, instead it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. The steroids ability to reduce inflammation means that they can reduce pain that is the result of inflammation.
Steroid injections contain cortisone and a local anaesthetic. Cortisone is a type of hormone that the body produces when it is under stress. The cortisone that the body produces naturally is released into the blood stream and is short acting (it does not last long), whereas the cortisone that is used in the injection is in synthetic form that is delivered directly to where it is needed, this means it does not go into the blood stream and so systemic side effects are avoided.
The synthetic cortisone used in injection therapy is long acting, giving greater respite from symptoms because the effects last much longer.
The injections normally take a few days to start working, although some work in a few hours. The effect usually wears off after a few months, but there is no guarantee you will be pain free.
If you’re having an injection to relieve pain, it may also contain local anaesthetic. This provides immediate pain relief that lasts a few hours.
You should be able to go home soon after the injection. You may need to rest the treated body part for a few days.
The recommended advice is a course of 3 injections at no less than 6 weekly intervals over the course of 12 months.
It is advisable to rest the joint or affected part for two to three days after injection. Try not to undertake any of the previous movements or activities that you know irritates the problem. After this, a slow return to normal activity is recommended.
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