When home care has not relieved your pain and inflammation, your doctor may recommend joint injections or cortisone shots. The injections typically include a corticosteroid or other medication such as supartz, hylogen, or synvisc as well as a local anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief at the injection site.
What to expect
Injections are usually given in your doctor's office. You may be asked to remove clothing and put on a gown in order to access your injured shoulder or elbow. Once the joint area has been cleaned, a local anesthetic will numb the injection site. Then a needle is inserted into the joint and the medication is released. Because of the local anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel anything more than some pressure in the joint as the needle is inserted.
After your shot
You can go about your day with some limitations although you may have some mild pain or stiffness in your shoulder, arm or elbow. Your doctor may ask that you protect the injection area for a day or two and your arm may be put into a sling. You should apply ice as needed to relieve pain.
These shots commonly cause a temporary flare in pain and inflammation for up to 48 hours after the injection. After that, you should experience decreased pain and inflammation. If the pain and swelling continue from more than 48 hours, call your doctor.