Steroid injections for arthritis are safe if used properly and in moderation, according to WebMD. If a joint is severely destroyed, injections may not provide any benefit and should not be used.
Injections should not be used when there is infection anywhere in the body, notes WebMD. Great caution is taken when giving injections to patients taking blood thinners because steroid injections may cause bleeding at the site. Caution against using injections too frequently should also be taken because there is an increased risk of weakening tissues in the tissues of the injection site. Doctors also consider a person's age and physical activity level when considering injection prescriptions and look at every case on an individual basis.
Injections generally do not cure the illness and do have side effects, according to WebMD. Rarely, steroid injections can cause infection, allergic reactions, local bleeding, rupture of a tendon and skin discoloration. These side effects vary from patient to patient, and if the injections are used infrequently, none of the side effects may occur. Care should also be taken when determining the cause of arthritis, which can change the frequency and type of injection process. Healthy people suffering with tendinitis need only local steroid injections for treatment, whereas people with rheumatoid arthritis need a multifaceted treatment approach.