Cortisone – To Use or Not to Use?

Sports fans may associate cortisone shots with Varsity Blues, one of 1999’s blockbusters.

In the movie, head coach Bud Kilmer manipulates his star quarterback, Lance Harbor, into injecting cortisone shots into an injured knee. Doing so resulted in this harrowing scene, consequently ending his season.

Cortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat many types of muscle, bone and joint pain. It reduces or eliminates pain by controlling the inflammation in the afflicted region.

However, just because your pain goes away does not mean you are healing.

Like most prescribed medications, cortisone should be taken cautiously and is often used as a short-term solution.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine offers stern warnings that Lance Harbor probably wishes he had heard.

From the AOSSM:

Finally, athletes should not receive cortisone injections into a joint or bursa sac immediately before competition, as the athletic activity may cause the injury to resurface, resulting in pain, swelling, and stiffness. In addition, an injection immediately before an athletic activity may increase the risk of infection due to sweat getting into the site.

Of course each case is different, but that’s what our doctors are for. Let them help you decide if cortisone can help you “Get Back to Life.” If you are an injured athlete or dealing with muscle, bone and joint pain, schedule an appointment with Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics.