Localized Cortisone Injections

Localized Cortisone Injections


Cortisone injections may be recommended to help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. They're most commonly injected into joints — such as your ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine and wrist. Even the small joints in your hands and feet might benefit from cortisone shots. At our office we offer these injections for areas of pain and inflammation in the feet and ankles.

They are effective in treating inflammatory conditions such as:

  • Bursitis

  • Gout

  • osteoarthritis

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Psoriatic arthritis

  • Reactive arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Tendinitis

  • neuromas/neuritis


The injections usually comprise of a mixture of corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. Because of potential side effects, the number of shots you can receive in one year generally is limited. The anesthetic (lidocaine) will cause numbness in your foot for 2-4 hours. When the lidocaine wears off you may experience increased discomfort due to the fluid pressure in the area. The corticosteroid (dexamethasone or kenalog in our office) may help your pain for 5 days or more. It works to bring down inflammation and ultimately relieve pain.

Activity: There are no specific restrictions following a cortisone injection, however, your doctor may recommend decreasing your physical/high impact activity to allow the area of pain to rest. Additionally, the cortisone can be more effective if you are able to take it easy the rest of the day following the injection. This allows the medication from the injection to stay in the area it needs to be in order to offer relief.

Complications of cortisone shots are infrequent and are minimized by careful administration but can include:

  • Skin or Joint infection

  • Nerve damage

  • Thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site

  • Temporary flare of pain and inflammation in the joint

  • Tendon weakening or rupture

  • Thinning of nearby bone (osteoporosis)

  • Whitening or lightening of the skin around the injection site

  • Death of nearby bone (osteonecrosis)

  • Temporary increase in blood sugar


If you have any questions regarding localized cortisone injections our doctors are here for you.