About cortisone injections

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Suffering flare-up, waiting to see specialist but GP thinks it might be patello-femoral arthritis. It's been over five weeks now, on crutches, house-bound, business going down the tubes, very frustrated. Can't take oral NSAIDs due to ulcer, using gel and cold packs. I'm thinking about asking for a cortisone injection but I get the impression they're very reluctant. Can anyone tell me anything about this? In particular, what should I say that might persuade them to do this? (In UK, on NHS, can't really afford to go private.)

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  • Posted

    Hi Robin im 3 weeks post op now have you had a knee replacement the arthritis is one of the factors for replacing it i havent had cortisone myself but i know others who have most say ots only beneficial for short periods dont worry about the NHS part you are as entitled to as much csre as if you was paying good luck hope yoi get some relief.
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  • Posted

    I think it depends on where you are and who you GP/consultant is. They keep changing the goalposts. When my knee problems started (at least 13 years ago) I was given one but told you could only have 2-3 in a lifetime! This changed to 2-3 a year.

    I stopped having them in my right knee as they weren't giving relief for longer then 6-8 weeks and my GP explained that the risks involved weren't worth the short time they were helping. I have since had a TKR on my right knee August 2015.

    However, several months ago I had a fall which aggrivated my left knee and accelerated the damage. I am not ready for another TKR, so after a lot of pfaffing around I had a cortisone injection on 21 June and that has given much relief for 3 months now. That was done at my GPs surgery. (I say pffaffing as due to the appointment system at my surgery - telephone consultation, appt - referral for xray, 2 weeks for xray to come back, another telephone consulation and finally the injection.)

    I have just started this procedure again, but also know from the physio at my local hospital who also do the injections that their recommended waiting time between shots is 4 months.

    To sum up, the injections will usually help if there is inflamation present. An xray will not show inflamation. My feeling is the best way is to try and see what sort of relief it gives you as every person/condition is different and reacts differently. I would keep trying. NB I can only take Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. Codine makes me feel sick and other meds interfer with my high BP.  Won't touch tramadol with a barge pole after my back op. My GP perscribes Mepradec Gastro resistant capsules to prevent stomach problems when taking NSAIDs, maybe they would help you too?  Linda (Somerset)

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    • Posted

      Thanks a lot Linda, this is very useful. I'm really focussed on the short term at the moment due to specific things needing done. Will get a GP appointment this week. Wish I knew which one in the practice is the best bet!

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    • Posted

      In my experience steroid shots in the knee did very little, worked for maybe a week.  Reason is the knee being a weight bearing joint, but it does work great for shoulders, for example.  Since they are zeroing in on the knee cap being the problem, the injection would go under that and may be a different outcome.  I would do it since then you  would know if it helped with inflammation.  The other thing is to get Depo-medrone shot, which is another method of delivering steroid everywhere at once.  You would be good to go after that.  Just not so sure you would qualify for it, since your pain is localized..  There are also stability braces you could wear around your knee to prevent wrong turning of it.  Also stay away from all sugar which is the biggest inflammation trigger for everyone.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Lynn. They seem to last longer for some people, see Linda above, 6-8 weeks. Also from what I've been reading it depends exactly what's injected, some forms are intended to last only a week but take effect much faster than the types that last longer. Not sure I like the idea of injection under the kneecap but if that's what it takes...

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    • Posted

      You might have booked your appointment already, but hopefully there will be one or more GPs in your surgery who are trained to give the injections. It might help to try and see one of those from the start.
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    • Posted

      Got a shot of Depo-medrone into the knee this morning, told to expect results in 2-3 days, quite excited at the prospect of getting back to normal!
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  • Posted

    Push for the injection, they work, some times within 2 days you get a massive improvement.

    its your right not to be in pain, you do not need to go private.

    my GP  is not qualified to do it, but refers me to one just a couple of miles away, and he does it.

    the prescription is raised at my GP surgery , and e mailed over to the surgery who carry out the injection.

    Hate to say this, but we are living in a world where he who shouts loudest gets.

    So push for it, and yes it's not good to have to many, but my husband had 4 in one year.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Like you Robin I wanted/needed immediate relief as I was walking my daughter down the aisle in early July and was determined not to be limping or even on crutches. I was under the impression that I was given the quick, immediate, but short term injection, but 3 months down the road it is just starting to twinge again. So everyone is different. You need to try.

    Also agree Alison - in today's climate you have to fight for every appointment it seems, but keep going, it should help!

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