By: Dr. Richard McClain, Allied Bone and Joint Plymouth Office
Many patients I see have severe pain in certain joints, like a knee, hip, or shoulder, and have tried the typical medications or braces with little relief. The question I often am asked is “is there anything else we can do other surgery?”
Absolutely! There are “cortisone injections”, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents which when combined with anesthetics (like a dentist’s Novocain) can reduce pain and inflammation quite significantly. I like to call those injections “motion potion” because they can knock out the pain for several hours until the cortisone starts working (usually within a day).
“How long do they last?” Well now, that’s the $64 question. And I can definitely say “It depends.” It depends on what it’s being used for and where it’s given. If the problem is simply inflammation, it may completely cure it after one or two shots. If it’s for an arthritic joint, it’s more like using a “Fix-a-flat” for a bad tire; may last a while, or it may not.
But, they are an alternative to surgery. They just may be more temporary than desired, depending on the underlying problem.
Another type of injection is strictly for knee arthritis. They’re a gel like substance that has only been FDA approved for knees. And they may provide a longer term treatment for arthritis pain, but they are still treating the symptoms. There are different brands and they all act as lubricants for your “bad bearings”. The bearings are still bad, but they may not hurt as much.
So, these “potions” may get Your Life in Motion after all.