Can anyone tell me about cortisone shots in the knee's?
My doctor told me they are very painful even after they deaden your knee with novicaine. Is that true? How painful would you say the shots are on a scale of 1 to 10?
And do they help the painful knee? Side effects?
As you can tell, I'm nervous about doing them.
Lorene78 - you don't say why you need the cortisone shots, how long you have been in pain, your age and your prognosis. I had several cortisone shots prior to having a Total knee replacement. I was 53 and trying to hold off the TKR and was bone on bone with arthritis. For me the were not too bad. I also had fluid removed from my knee area at the same time. And my Doctor is excellent. Unfortunately, they are supposed to last about 3 months and for me, it was only a couple of weeks... So TKR this past January.
Whether to recommend has a lot to do with why you need them and my other questions. One thing that I have read is that you don't want to have too many cortisone shots. Also if your says they are real painful, perhaps you might want to check around for someone who is more confident about making them less painful. My shots were more scary from the idea of having a shot in the knee than painful. Good luck
I'm 69 yrs old, went to bed one night feeling fine, but in the morning I had bad pain in my right knee, so I went to the walk in clinic at my hospital. They xrayed both knee's and said I had mild arthritis in both. I remember asking if this was mild arthritis, then would I be screaming if it was moderate to severe? I was sent for physical therapy, but naturally it only made things worse, not better. By now I had seen two doctors and one therapist and kept hearing the words knee replacement mentioned in a casual manner.
Finally I saw the orthopedic surgeon and he said he was pretty good at sizing people up in the first meeting, and he thought I would be better in four months and wouldn't need surgery. He said he could give me a shot in my knee but he had to warn me they are painful, so I said no thanks.
Anyway, he was sort of right and sort of wrong at the same time. My right knee did in fact get somewhat better over the months. But again, I went to bed feeling okay only to wake up with horrible pain in my left knee this time. I have been in misery for the last three months! I feel like I am walking on two dislocated legs or something. The pain goes down into my shin bone and makes sleep hard to come by.
I take 800mil of ibuprofen every 8 hours and it helps greatly.
I am going to make another appointment with the surgeon, but I dread him pulling out those two long needles. If only I could keep myself calm, but everytime I think about it I feel sick to my stomach. I never considered myself a coward, but I'm having to admit now that I just may be one afterall.
Lorene - I had known that I had arthritis for years. Also I had the trifecta for TKR's - overweight, heretitary (my mother had both knees replaced) and for years I played tennis (very hard on the knees). Before we moved to Florida, after years of having my primary care doctor try different pain killers on me, I went to an orthopaedic doc in VA. Since we were moving he did not do much, had me take more nsaids, have a little therapy before I moved and told me to put up with the pain until I was older. My xrays showed that I was bone on bone in my right knee and somewhat better in the left. After 6 more months here of suffering, and several great recommendations, I went to my new Doc in Orlando. The first day she told me that I had a lot of fluid in my knee and that we should remove it and try a cortisone shot. I said fine, when do you want to do it? She said "I'll be right back". So I had no time to worry about it. When taking out fluid they use a larger needle, remove the fluid and then insert a smaller needle into the large needle to put in the cortisone. I was numbed up and had to ask her if she had started about the time she was done. Not much worse than a regular shot - just some pressure getting out the fluid. I took it easy for a couple of days - she told me to get the remote, get in a recliner and act like a man - let my husband wait on me. It worked. My knee felt pretty good for a couple of weeks, but when you are bone on bone, it rarely lasts months. Since then I had one more, then the three shot series of hylagan shots that are supposed to leave a cushioning fluid in your knee, but it did not work well for me (my knee was too far gone) this is similiar to synvisc shot treatment.
In November, I had one more cortisone shot (which was very easy, since she didn't use the big needle, since I didn't have fluid) and that got me through a cruise we were taking before Christmas. On January 19th, I had my TKR and I am still recovering. It is a long, painful recovery, but improves everyday. My left leg is still in good enough shape to wait awhile. So soon my life will be getting back to normal. And I won't be sitting on the sidelines watching other people do things that I wish I could.
I had gotten to the point that my knee affected my quality of life, if I did too much (which wasn't much) I suffered and sleep did not happen. I got to the point where I could not shop (and I like to shop) - even the grocery store was difficult. Travel, which we love to do, was no fun. I felt like a 90 year old woman - even sitting hurt. And I knew it was just going to get worse. But before you have a TKR, you should try the other options available - in fact many insurance companies won't do a TKR until you have tried the other treatments. Having a TKR should be your last resort. You may have time until you need the TKR, I had several good years, where once the doctor took care of the inflamation, and I stopped aggravating it, it was fine for quite some time. I would definitely check around for another opinion. My doctor only does knees and she has been great! Keeping exercising - non-impact, no running, lots of water exercises, water walking, swimming is the best and for me some of the only time prior to surgery, when I was not in pain. Look on the internet for knee exercises you can do, or ask your new doctor to have PT give you pre-surgical exercises. You want to strengthen your leg muscles. Good luck. Read the different posts on this website. Ice your leg.
I seem to be headed in the same direction as you since it is affecting my entire life at this point (& it just started a few months ago). Shopping is almost impossible so we take a portable wheelchair with us since I can't possibly walk through a mall. Grocery shopping hurts.. I'm fine as long as I sit down, but the minute I start walking, I'm in trouble right away. Stairs are getting too hard to bother with, especially going down stairs. At first I couldn't sleep from the pain, but now it seems to be slowly getting better to the point I can sleep through the night again. (as long as I take 800 mil ibuprofen before bed)
My hospital's protocol is, xrays, pt, cortisone shots, then MRI, then knee replacement in that order.
Had knee surgery in Jan, fluid taken out by mid feb. Also at that time, had cortisone shot, not painful at all. I actually watched as they drew the fluid out and then watched as they put the cortisone in. Bad thing about it, it can only be used every 3 months, and they sure dont last not even half that. I think my leg felt good for about a week and a half, then started hurting again.
You should find a doctor who does Cortisone shots often and doesn't talk about the pain. I've had them about 4 times a year for several years and they are not bad and worth it since I feel so much better afterwards. My knees are mostly bone on bone and need to be replaced. I usually have them in both knees, drive myself there and then home again. The idea of them is worse than the actual shot if you have some one who knows what they are doing. I try to take it easy the first day and then I start feeling better. They last about a month for me and really make a difference. Good Luck, find a doctor who does them frequently and go for it.