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When can steroid injections for arthritis cause problems?

ANSWER

Steroids shouldn't be injected when you have an infection in the injection area, or somewhere else in your body.

When a joint is already severely destroyed, it's unlikely steroids will help.

Steroid injections may cause bleeding at the site if you have a bleeding problem or you're taking anticoagulants (often referred to as blood thinners).

If you get steroid injections more often than every 3 or 4 months, you run the risk of weakening tissues in the treated area.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Cortisone shots."

Arthritis Foundation: "Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Treatment Options."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Arthritis."

MedicineNet: "Steroids to Treat Arthritis."

Medscape: "Corticosteroid Injections of Joints and Soft Tissues."

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance: "Corticosteroids."

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 1, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Cortisone shots."

Arthritis Foundation: "Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Treatment Options."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Arthritis."

MedicineNet: "Steroids to Treat Arthritis."

Medscape: "Corticosteroid Injections of Joints and Soft Tissues."

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance: "Corticosteroids."

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 1, 2020

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What are the expected benefits of steroid injections?

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