Why Do Corticosteroid Injections Damage Joint
The authors of the study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery point out:
With regard to biologic plausibility, the potential for corticosteroids to injure articular cartilage is well established. In a systematic review, Wernecke et al. concluded that intra- articular corticosteroid had a dose-dependent injurious effect on cartilage in vitro as well as in vivo. In the clinical setting, corticosteroid injections have been linked to an increased risk of osteoarthritic progression in the hip and knee.
A reader of our syndicated newspaper column told us that an orthopedic surgeon said:
What Are The Results
If the joint that was treated is the source of pain, you may notice pain relief starting two to seven days after the injection. Pain may be relieved for several days to several months, allowing you to participate in physical therapy. If injections were helpful and you experience a later recurrence of pain, the procedure can be repeated. If you donÃ¢â¬â¢t experience any pain relief, other treatment options may be available.
Mayo Clinic And Yale University Studies On Your Own Bone Marrow Stem Cells
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic and Yale University published their research on the benefits of Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate for Knee Osteoarthritis in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Here is the summary of that research:
- In their single-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 25 patients with bilateral knee osteoarthritis were randomized to receive Bone marrow aspirate concentrate in one knee and saline placebo in the other. Early results show that Bone marrow aspirate concentrate is safe to use and is a reliable and viable cellular product. Study patients experienced a similar significant relief of pain in both bone marrow aspirate concentrate- and saline-treated arthritic knees.
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Risks Of Cortisone Injections
Some risks of cortisone injections are:
What Types Of Knee Issues Call For A Cortisone Shot
Suppose you have osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis from a previous injury, rheumatoid arthritis or bursitis. In that case, you may need a cortisone shot from time to time if you have a significant flare-up. If you have a knee injury from playing sports or wear and tear, such as a meniscus or ligament tear, you might need the shot to calm the pain and inflammation.
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Caring Medical Research Case Studies
Our research team has published research on patient outcomes and case studies using bone marrow aspirate. Here is a sample of those outcomes. Again, we must remind you that this treatment does not work for everyone. Unfortunately, if you are reading this article you are probably very attuned to medical treatments that do not work.
In the medical journal Clinical Medicine Insights Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, our Caring Medical research team published our findings on seven patients. The patients who were treated for knee pain are featured below:
Patient case Knee pain: A 69-year-old man
A 69-year-old male came into our office with pain in both knees, with his right knee significantly more painful. Pain resulted in frequent sleep interruption and limitation of exercise.
The patient had received Prolotherapy at another office in the previous two years but felt that the treatment has reached its maximum ability to heal.
The patient was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and received five bone marrow/dextrose treatments in each knee at two-month intervals.
- Two months after the final treatment, the patient reported that he was completely free of pain or stiffness in both knees, had regained full range of motion, no longer suffered sleep interruption, and was no longer limited in exercise or daily life activities.
Patient case Knee pain A 56-year-old woman
The patient received bone marrow/dextrose treatments for six visits at 810 week intervals.
What Happens After The Injection
Some soreness is common in the first few days after the shot. Apply ice to the area to relieve pain. Other possible side effects include infection, nerve damage, skin discoloration and weakening of nearby bones . But these are rare.
Within one to four days after you get the injection, the steroid should kick in and start providing relief. The duration of pain relief varies based on the severity of the arthritis.
If were seeing a patient early on, when they have mild-to-moderate changes inside the knee joint, they have a much better chance of the injection lasting a long time, Golnick says. The effects of the injection can last for three months or more in someone with mild-to-moderate arthritis, but those with more severe arthritis could have a return of symptoms within a few weeks.
You can repeat the injections once every three or four months, but no more than four times a year. Overdoing it on steroids could actually hasten joint damage, Golnick says. If corticosteroids stop working, you could try another type of injection, such as hyaluronic acid .
Steroid injections provide temporary relief from arthritis pain, but theyre not a long-term solution. In most patients, arthritis is going to progress. Eventually, treatments that are working today will probably lose effectiveness, Golnick says. Thats when patients start looking at joint replacement surgery to help them with their pain and discomfort.
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Comparison Of Ozone Therapy Cortisone Hyaluronic Acid Injections And Dextrose Prolotherapy Injections
There is a significant amount of research surrounding the use of ozone in treating various diseases. In this section, we will limit this research to comparative research.
An October 2018 study in the Journal of Pain Research compared ozone treatments with Hyaluronic Acid Injections or Dextrose Prolotherapy injections as the control group.
Please note that this is not a comparison of Prolozone® to the other treatments, this is a comparison of ozone alone.
The researchers wrote that the existing body of evidence had well demonstrated that ozone injection was evidently effective for short-term management of mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis patients . But the main challenge was on longer periods of time in which different studies had declared heterogeneous results.
The researchers gathered dates from a series of randomized control trials and made these observations:
- The short-term effectiveness of intra-articular ozone is better than placebo and corticosteroids
- The short-term effectiveness of intra-articular ozone is equal to that of dextrose Prolotherapy or hyaluronic acid injections.
- However, at 36 months after injections, the therapeutic efficacy of ozone decreased to a level, slightly lower than that of dextrose Prolotherapy or hyaluronic acid injections.
- After 6 months, ozone therapy was not associated with significant improvement in range of motion and functionality
A 2015 study in the journal Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine showed that:
Potential Risks Of Knee Injections
All knee injections come with potential risks of bleeding, bruising, swelling, and increased pain following the procedure. There is also a risk of developing an infection at the injection site. Always make sure to discuss the risks of knee injections with your healthcare provider before any procedure.
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Pain Or Inflammation Flare
Cortisone injections are commonly prescribed to treat joint pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. They will also treat inflammation and pain in the joints caused by orthopedic injuries or other inflammatory illnesses. In a small percentage of patients, however, cortisone injections actually have the opposite effect. This means that they can increase the amount of pain or inflammation that individuals experience. These flare-ups are temporary for most patients. However, rare cases have shown that they can last for quite a long time. In many cases, these temporary flare-ups are due to allergic reactions to cortisone or other corticosteroids used in the injections. Thus, patients may want to inform their doctor if they have ever had a reaction to corticosteroids in the past.
In This Video Ross Hauser Md Explains How One Injection Of Prp Will Likely Not Work
A transcript summary is below the video
We will often get emails from people who had previous PRP therapy without the desired healing effects. We explain to these people that their treatment probably did not work because the single PRP injection did not resolve knee instability. The PRP may have tried to create a patch in the meniscus or cartilage to help with a bone-on-bone situation but the instability and the wear and tear grinding down the meniscus and cartilage remain.
When a person has a ligament injury or instability, the knee becomes hypermobile causing degenerative wear and tear on the meniscus and knee cartilage. In other words, the cells of the meniscus and cartilage are being crushed to death. When you inject PRP cells into the knee, without addressing the knee instability, the injected PRP cells will also be subjected to the crushing hypermobile action of the knee. The single injection PRP treatment will not work for many people. The knee instability needs to be addressed with comprehensive Prolotherapy around the joint. Prolotherapy is the companion injection of simple dextrose. This is explained in detail below.
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Things To Consider Before Getting A Cortisone Shot
Before taking the injection, you need to understand the goal. Its going to treat the inflammation, but its not going to resolve the underlying issue that created the pain.
Youll have to be committed to a long-term solution. Doing physical therapy or other treatments for strengthening weak muscles or inflamed joints.
Simply put, cortisone shots are used to calm symptoms. They wont resolve the underlying cause of the pain youre experiencing.
There are several risks to getting cortisone injections. Its important to consider them all for your particular case. We will dive in to them more in-depth later in this article.
Cortisone can make bone on bone injuries worse by thinning out the meniscus. These steroid injections are known to be toxic to cartilage, the connective tissue that keeps your bones from rubbing against one another.
While I had initially refused a shot, the Orthopedic recommended it as an option to see if reducing the inflammation would allow the knee to regain full mobility. Avoiding surgery sounded great to me, so I decided one shot was worth trying.
Repeated shots in to areas like the knee are what youll find I warn heavily against. The data is overwhelming about additional breakdown occurring from too many injections.
Different Types Of Knee Injections
There are two main types of knee injections used for treating to reduce pain and swelling:
We will start by looking at corticosteroid knee injections, how they work, what conditions they can help and the possible side effects. Then we will go on to look at Joint Lubricant injections, concentrating on Synvisc Knee Injections.
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The Horrific Side Effects Of Getting Cortisone Injections
Cortisone is a steroid that can be taken orally, applied to the skin, or injected. Topical cortisone, for instance, is a common treatment for eczema. One of the most common treatments for joint pain, inflammation, and allergic reactions is to receive cortisone injections.
Cortisone injections provide near-instant pain relief and can last for months. Thus, they have become a common arthritis treatment. They are also used to treat other inflammatory joint conditions. Some individuals may even receive a cortisone injection for acne. This is often reserved for severe acne, since there are side effects and many other acne treatments available. Cortisone injection side effects seem to be common when they are used as a treatment for arthritis and in high doses. This makes them a somewhat risky endeavor.
Injections To Relieve Knee Pain
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis in the United States. It is caused by progressive degeneration of the cartilage in the knee joint, which protects bones in this area from rubbing against each other. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, treatments can help reduce pain and inflammation.
If oral medications do not help with your knee osteoarthritis pain, your healthcare provider may suggest injecting a medication directly into the knee joint. Knee injections used for arthritic pain include corticosteroid , hyaluronic acid , platelet-rich plasma, placental tissue matrix, Botox, and reverse injection .
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Cortisone Injection Side Effects
Both localized atrophy of the subcutaneous tissues and discoloration are well known side effects of cortisone injections. Sometimes these are the desired effects of the injection, as when we inject steroids around nerve entrapments, with the intent that the atrophy will decrease the pressure on the nerve.
Physicians Do Not Commonly Tell Patients About The Possibility
The press information released by the Radiological Society of North America, the publishers of the journal Radiology, listed these important points:
- Steroid injections may lead to joint collapse or hasten the need for total hip or knee replacement.
- Ali Guermazi, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology and medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and lead researcher of the study, found that corticosteroid injections may be associated with complications that potentially accelerate the destruction of the joint and may hasten the need for total hip and knee replacements. . . Weve been telling patients that even if these injections dont relieve your pain, theyre not going to hurt you, Dr. Guermazi said. But now we suspect that this is not necessarily the case.
- In a review of existing literature on complications after treatment with corticosteroid injections, Dr. Guermazi and colleagues identified four main adverse findings: accelerated osteoarthritis progression with loss of the joint space, subchondral insufficiency fractures , complications from osteonecrosis , and rapid joint destruction including bone loss.
- Physicians do not commonly tell patients about the possibility of joint collapse or subchondral insufficiency fractures that may lead to earlier total hip or knee replacement, Dr. Guermazi said. This information should be part of the consent when you inject patients with intra-articular corticosteroids.
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Reduce Inflammation With Steroids
Corticosteroid injections are useful for treating flare-ups of OA pain and swelling with fluid buildup in the knee, Richmond says.
These injections help relieve symptoms by reducing inflammation in the joint. But theyâre not a perfect solution in every case. If you’re considering this treatment, keep this in mind:
They work quickly. These injections offer âvery rapidâ relief, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Richmond says.
The benefit is short-term. On average, the pain relief lasts from 6 to12 weeks, Richmond says. Often, thatâs long enough to get you through a flare-up of osteoarthritis until your symptoms subside.
You shouldnât use them frequently. A corticosteroid shot often works best the first time, Altman says. After that, they tend to give less relief.
In most cases, Richmond tells his patients they can use these shots two to three times a year. Using them too often may damage cells in the knee that make cartilage.
Balancing Benefits And Risks Of Cortisone Shots:
As you can tell, some people benefit from corticosteroid injections. This seems to be especially true if there is localized inflammation such as bursitis. If the cortisone shots are not administered too often, it is conceivable that lasting damage can be prevented.
On the other hand, the evidence is mounting that frequent injections can lead to joint damage. You can read much more about the actual mechanism whereby this happens at this link:
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How Cortisone Injections Work
Cortisone is a type of steroid hormone that work by decreasing inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to an injury, infection, or disease as a means to heal itself. However, when a condition is persistent and the inflammation is chronic, the symptoms of inflammationincluding pain and swellingcan become intolerable.
Patients Should Be Careful When Considering Steroid Treatment
With 10% of men and 13% of women older than 60 being diagnosed with osteoarthritis, the findings have implications for those with the most common joint disorder in the United States.
An important takeaway, Guermazi said, is that doctors should inform patients of all the possible risks of steroid injections as they weigh treatment options together.
Currently the American College of Rheumatology conditionally recommends steroid treatments and the Osteoarthritis Research Society International says they should be considered in patients with moderate to severe pain, the paper says.
Guermazi wasnt ready to commit to how exactly the steroid treatments might actually cause osteoarthritis complications.
But he said the studys observational evidence might be particularly relevant to younger patients mulling over steroid treatments, as it might lead to them needing joint replacements sooner.
All in all, it still comes down to the patients choice.
The researchers say patient preference should have a substantial influence on the type of treatment selected.
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