Steroid injections for pain relief – how long do they last?

I had a steroid injection into my shoulder for a problem with bursitis. I got immediate relief that lasted about a week. Now my symptoms are starting to come back. How long do steroid injections usually work?

There aren’t too many studies just on the duration of pain relief with steroid injections into the joints. Results range from one week as in your case up to 13 weeks.

It’s clear that steroid injections work better than placebo injections with saline solution. And studies show that some steroids work better than others. Long-term pain relief may require a higher dose of the steroid.

In some cases steroid injections are used to control pain and reduce rehab time after arthroscopic surgery. In a patient with recurring bursitis there may be other factors such as posture and overuse to be addressed. The injection may help calm the joint enough to work on improving alignment and motion. Combining physical therapy with steroid injection may be one way to improve overall results.

For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.com.The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

2 Responses to “Steroid injections for pain relief – how long do they last?”

  1. Deb says:

    I have a grade 1 ankle sprain I was give a shot of sterilely with 1 cc of marcaie, Lidocaine & epo-Medrol about 6 months ago, I had a bad flare and was very painful couldn’t walk or 2 days as of today the pain is still there. I have persistent anterolateral ankle impingement. They want to inject cortisone what do you think I would rather have arthroscopic surgery.
    Thank you
    DebO

  2. admin says:

    Deb,
    It sounds like you have already sought the advice of an orthopaedically trained foot and ankle specialist. If not, I encourage you to do so. I specialize in hip and knee replacements and without seeing a full work up, including an MRI, any advice I could give would be inadequate. It does sound, though, as if you’ll probably need surgery.

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