Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease which is associated with a breakdown of cartilage in the joints which can occur in any joint in the body. We however most commonly see it in weight bearing joints such as hips, knee and spine however, also this can commonly affect fingers, thumb, neck and large toe.
Health Implications of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in the joint to lose elasticity therefore making it more susceptible to damage, in areas this can wear away decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber.
- Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint Aching/ soreness
- Pain after long periods of inactivity versus overuse
- Join swelling and fluid accumulation
How can a cortisone injection help with Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis leads to pain and inflammation within a joint. The purpose of the injection is to reduce the irritation caused by bone interacting with bone which is what happens when the cartilage interface wears away. A corticosteroid injection helps to significantly reduce the inflammation and therefore pain. It is common due to the slow release of crystals in the short term develop irritation in the joint similar to gout, this however will settle within 2-3 days. Ice in this situation helps assist in reducing pain. After the injection it is pertinent to discuss with clinician regarding ongoing management. Exercise based therapy is highly recommended for going care to address strength and the mechanics of the presenting joint to prevent a flare up in symptoms.