What Is a Cortisone Shot in the Shoulder?


Quick Answer

Cortisone shots are given in the shoulder to relieve pain and inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic. Shots typically include a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. Doctors generally apply a yearly limit to cortisone shots to minimize potential side effects.

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Full Answer

The Mayo Clinic explains that a doctor cleans the injection area and sometimes administers an anesthetic spray for numbing. An ultrasound X-ray can assist the doctor with placing the needle in the precise spot of inflammation. The injection's corticosteroid medication relieves pains and inflammation over time, and the anesthetic provides immediate pain relief.

Cortisone injections can cause rare side effects, such as weakened tendons and elevated blood sugar in diabetics, according to WebMD. Frequent and high doses can lead to long-term side effects, such as thinning skin, easy bruising, weight gain, facial puffiness, elevated blood pressure, cataracts, osteoporosis, and rare but serious large joint and bone damage.

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