Patient information – steroid injection therapy

How does the injection work?
The injection acts to reduce inflammation and therefore helping to reduce pain.
Will it get rid of my pain forever?
The injection is successful in 60-70% of cases.
What is in the injection?
Steroid and local anaesthetic.
How many injections can I have?
We do not like to give too many injections. You will have one or 2 injections only.
What are the side effects?

  • (1) Post injection flare – this involves temporary increase of pain with occasional swelling and local heat. Analgesia and Ice packs may help.
  • (2) Skin discolouration and thinning at site of injection.
  • (3) Loss of diabetic control – there may be transient loss of sugar control. It is important to monitor sugar levels for up to 2 weeks after your injection.
  • (4) Allergy – this is a very rare reaction.
  • (5) Tendon rupture – this is more likely with repeated injections rather than one or 2.
  • (6) Facial flushing – This may last for 1-2 days.
  • (7) Menstrual irregularity – this is rare.

What should I do or expect after the injection?

  • Continue to use your arm within your comfort level. Continue physio when able.
  • The injection may start working 1-2days later and can take up to 3 weeks
  • You will be reviewed in clinic approximately 6 weeks after the injection.

Are there any alternate options to steroids?
Osteonil is a viscoelastic supplement which can be used and has no risk of collateral damage. This may be needed as a course of three injections to get full benefit and quite often used in athletes as does not need any therapeutic exemption certificate.