Cortisone shots in the knee are often given to relieve pain and manage inflammation. They may be given in other joints of the body, including the ankles, shoulder, wrist, fingers and spine. People with joint pain related to osteoarthritis may be given these shots to help them cope with pain and swelling, according to WebMD.
Cortisone shots may be part of treatment for various medical conditions. Examples of such conditions include baker's cyst, bursitis, lupus, reactive arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, gout, tendinitis, tennis elbow and myofascial pain syndrome. Cortisone injections act in the human body to reduce inflammation that may be caused by these conditions. Once inflammation has been reduced, the pain inevitably subsides, notes MedicineNet.
Cortisone shots are often effective the first time they are used. They work quite rapidly, and patients can expect to feel some form of relief within the first 24 to 48 hours of taking the shot. The pain relief provided by these shots may last between 6 to 12 weeks. However, doctors advise patients to avoid using these shots frequently because this makes them less and less potent.
Some of the risks associated with getting these shots include nerve damage, joint infection, tendon weakening, osteonecrosis and thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection region.