Why did a cortisone shot not help my pain?

A cortisone shot used to be one of the most common treatments in orthopedic surgery offices. Their use has declined somewhat, but many orthopedic surgeons still use them for a number of bone and joint conditions.

In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain when a cortisone shot might help a patient – and when it might not.

Shelby asks:
I have had 3 cortisone shots in my shoulder due to anterior shoulder pain that was caused from my biceps tendon being irritated. Unfortunately none of them worked in reducing my symptoms. I recently just had a cortisone injection for medial knee pain, and that one also did not work. It actually made the pain worse for a couple days. Is it possible that my body doesn’t react to cortisone?

Cortisone is a steroid that acts as an anti-inflammatory medication. It can help to decrease pain and swelling in a joint. It can be helpful for some problems but not others.

In this video, I explain what a patient could ask the doctor if a cortisone shot fails to offer much relief.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – How often can you get cortisone injections?
Ask Dr. Geier – Do cortisone shots help meniscus tears?

Doctor giving patient a cortisone shot