If you are experiencing pain in the foot and/or ankle that may be inflammatory in nature and it hasn’t responded well to conservative management and rehabilitation, a cortisone injection may provide some benefit.
Corticosteroid or ‘cortisone’ injections can be used to provide short-to-medium pain relief for a wide range of foot and ankle injuries.
A cortisone injection is a type of corticosteroid, which is a group of drugs used to treat musculoskeletal conditions. A cortisone shot can reduce swelling, stiffness and pain in your foot and ankle. It acts like the natural hormones in your body to stop inflammation. This type of treatment is non-invasive and doesn’t require surgery.
There are different types of cortisone. Your podiatrist will administer one that is best for your condition, but most will use a long-duration cortisone because it will take effect within a few weeks and will last between 1-9 months, depending on your condition and the severity of it.
We use it on painful inflammatory conditions of the foot and ankle including:
– Plantar Fasciitis
– Morton’s Neuroma
– Rheumatoid Arthritis
– Big Toe Osteoarthritis / Hallux Rigidus
– Ankle Osteoarthritis
– Plantar Plate Tears
– Sinus Tarsi Syndrome
– Achilles tendinopathy
– Tarsal tunnel syndrome
– Posterior tibial tendonitis
Morton’s Neuroma is where scar tissue builds up on a nerve between the toes causing severe pain.
We use ultrasound guidance to accurately locate the entrapped nerve and administer a dorsal approach injection cortisone. A local anaesthetic is also used for the surrounding area and the sharp pain between the toes can often be relieved in one appointment.
Localised pain at the base of the heel is often caused by weakness, inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia. A common and effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis is a cortisone injection.
Completed under a tibial nerve block to minimise discomfort, we use ultrasound guidance to accurately inject cortisone where the plantar fascia inserts into the base of the heel.
If you are diagnosed with a musculoskeletal condition that affects your foot or ankle, a cortisone injection is commonly recommended as an effective treatment option.
Conditions can include:
Arthritis is a common cause of foot and ankle pain in older patients. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the main ones that affect the foot include:
If imaging confirms arthritis, an intra-articular cortisone injection can be provided. At Stride Podiatry, we use ultrasound imaging to accurately identify the joint margins and inject cortisone with local anaesthetic to provide symptomatic relief.
Bursitis is a condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, muscles and tendons near your joints. Irritation from repetitive use or direct pressure such as from wearing boots that are too tight can cause it. Abnormal toe joints or flat feet can also lead to bursitis. Your podiatrist will do an assessment of your footwear and gait pattern, as well as an ultrasound if appropriate. Cortisone injection will be recommended if it cannot be fixed from changing footwear or other methods.
Morton’s neuroma is a condition that most commonly affects the area between your third and fourth toes. It may cause you to feel like you are standing on a pebble in your shoe. The tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes has thickened, causing a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Cortisone injections are an effective way to relieve the pain of Morton’s neuroma.
Tendonitis can develop in different parts of the foot and ankle including the Achilles tendon, posterior tibial tendon and tibialis anterior tendon. It causes inflammation and pain in the area surrounding a tendon. Sometimes this can be successfully treated with orthotic therapy or muscle strengthening exercises. If not, cortisone injections will most likely be recommended to relieve the pain.
Your podiatrist will clean the area around the injection site. This may include applying an anaesthetic spray to numb the area where the needle will be inserted. At Stride Podiatry, we use ultrasound to accurately inject the cortisone.
You may feel some pressure when the needle is inserted. The medication will then be released into the injection site. Cortisone shots include anaesthetic to provide immediate pain relief.
Your podiatrist will discuss with you the most beneficial treatment plan based on your injury. Often it will be guided by your response to the first injection and your injury or condition. Sometimes one injection is enough while other times multiple injections spaced weeks or months apart can be appropriate.
Most of the time, a cortisone injection is a walk in, walk out procedure. However, sometimes when a nerve block is required, we ask that you get dropped off and picked up from your appointment. It is best to speak to your practitioner prior to your appointment to determine what you’ll be able to do following the procedure.
You should be able to return to most activities after the injection. Your podiatrist might recommend that you avoid any rigorous physical exercise such as the gym or running for a few days after the injection, so the cortisone isn’t displaced from the target tissue.
Depending on how severe your condition is, sometimes you may experience a temporary flare in pain up to 48 hours after the injection.
There are risks associated with every procedure.
Potential side effects include:
– reaction to the substance (eg. anaesthetic, corticosteroid)
At Stride Podiatry, we take great care by using sterile equipment and an aseptic technique. We always inject well below your safe maximum dose of local anaesthetic.
If you do require more than one injection, we always space them out accordingly.
If you would like further information regarding cortisone injections, please contact us at Stride Podiatry. We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your foot pain and the use of foot cortisone injections.
It depends what your condition is and how many injections you require. Feel free to call us at Stride Podiatry to book a consultation with a podiatrist today.
Sometimes cortisone injections can be done by your GP, but it depends on whether they have the round ultrasound or X-ray equipment to make sure the injection goes into the right spot. GPs will often refer a patient to see a specialist to perform cortisone injections.
You may be eligible to get the cost of the appointment subsidised by medicare if you have a referral from your GP for Podiatry, however not the additional cost of the injection. If you have private healthcare, you may be partially or fully covered but variance does exist from fund to fund.
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