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Whether you experience stiffness, swelling, or a persistent dull ache, knee pain is a common problem. And one common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis, which affects more than 27 million Americans over age 25.

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that results from the breakdown of cartilage and bone, and it usually causes inflammation and pain. If you have arthritic knee pain, cortisone injections may be able to give you relief.

Thomas Calton, MD, brings more than 20 years of orthopedic medical experience to Elevate Surgical in Ogden, Utah. In his practice, he specializes in hip and knee replacements. However, Dr. Calton also provides nonsurgical solutions — such as cortisone injections — to his patients whenever possible.

In this blog, Dr. Calton explains how cortisone injections work and when they can be helpful.

How cortisone injections work

When you get a cortisone injection, Dr. Calton injects medication directly to the source of your pain. So, if your knee is the problem, he delivers the medicine into that joint.

Cortisone injections use pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation. This targeted approach makes it highly valuable for inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis. They can also provide relief for any joint in your body, large or small, but they’re mostly used in the shoulder and knee.

Dr. Calton can administer a cortisone injection during a regular office appointment. It can take time for the injection to work, sometimes up to a week. However, if effective, your relief can last up to several months.

Cortisone injections and knee pain

Receiving medication directly where you need it most can offer highly effective and lasting results. However, if you have severe joint deterioration, cortisone injections may not ease your symptoms.

It’s also important to note that repeated use of cortisone injections can put you at risk of additional joint damage. So, even if you respond to cortisone injections, Dr. Calton limits the number you can receive, especially for arthritis.

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t receive more than 3-4 cortisone injections each year. And, to offer the best knee pain management, Dr. Calton usually uses cortisone injections along with a combination of approaches.

Getting the best results for cortisone injections

If you have knee pain that’s not severe enough to warrant joint replacement surgery, Dr. Calton often recommends a comprehensive pain management strategy.

Additional strategies that can make your cortisone injections more effective include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to decrease pain
  • Weight loss to reduce added strain on your knees and hips
  • Braces for additional joint support

Exercise and physical therapy also play a key role in managing knee pain, especially with arthritis. Not only can regular activity help with weight management, but it can also help strengthen muscles in other parts of your body, which can help take pressure off of your knee and improve joint function.

Is knee pain slowing you down? Dr. Calton can help. To get a thorough evaluation and find out what your treatment options are, call (801) 758-0206 or book an appointment online with Elevate Surgical today.

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