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Cortisone shot in the hip: how painful?

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by calmom51, May 8, 2012.

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  1. calmom51

    calmom51 Junior Member

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    Post #1 on May 8, 2012
    I am finally scheduled for a cortisone shot in my hip joint on May 23rd. I'm a little scared to do it, because I have read that it can be painful to get the shot. I'm also not sure how my back will react. One time I got a cortisone shot in my back and wound up with sciatic sensitivity down my leg for months afterward. The doctor doing the shot was supposed to be an expert who does famous sports teams. I still don't know whether he screwed up or whether I just had a bad reaction.


    If you have had a cortisone shot in your hip, please tell me what to expect. They told me that they do not knock people out for it. It is done only with local anesthesia.


    When I get home from the shot, I plan to just rest for the remainder of the day.
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  2. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad

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    Post #2 on May 8, 2012
    I've had 2 cortisone shots in my right hip - as i remember it (it was 5 and 3 years ago respectively) the shot was not uncomfortable - the way my doc did it was to give me a shot of local anesthesia first ( small needle sting) then put the cortisone in and it was cortisone plus more local anesthesia - he said the added local was to make the pain go away while the cortisone as kicking in.

    I sure hope the shot helps you be more comfortable.
  3. calmom51

    calmom51 Junior Member

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    Post #3 on May 8, 2012
    I know that results vary, but how long did the pain relief last you? I am hoping that if the shot works, it will take away my pain for the balance of the summer. I'm thinking of getting a THR in September.
  4. Poppet

    Poppet

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    Post #4 on May 8, 2012
    I do hope you get some pain free months with the cortisone shots Calmom and then onwards to your THR in September. xx
  5. Nyland

    Nyland Post-Grad

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    Post #5 on May 8, 2012
    Hi there! I have never had the cortisone shots in my hip, but have had them in my knees MANY, MANY times. My rheumy is a magician! He takes his time. He drains my knees and then slowly injects the cortisone. I have NEVER felt a thing. I swear! I sit there and watch the whole thing in amazement. People still tell me that they won't do it because they have heard that it is terrible. I have no idea who is scaring them, but if it is done right, you will feel nothing. I've had them as close as 6 weeks apart. I did get relief, but for only 2-4 weeks.Good luck.
  6. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad

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    Post #6 on May 8, 2012
    My results were mixed - the first one worked great and the effects lasted a long time - nearly 2 years. But the 2nd one did not help much at all. My doctor decided it was because the first time the arthritis was just getting started and I also had bursitis in the hip (it flared up after I did a lot of walking around Santa Fe, New Mexico which has mostly cobblestone streets - so lots of uneven ground). And the second time, even though the symptoms seemed the same, it was just arthritis with bone on bone pain. And also perhaps the 2nd one did not get placed exactly right.

    Hopefully the injection will help you!
  7. calmom51

    calmom51 Junior Member

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    Post #7 on May 8, 2012
    Wow, two years of relief. That's impressive. I've heard that because the cortisone can do such a good job of masking the deterioration (arthritis, etc), things could get pretty darned bad and you wouldn't know it until the cortisone finally wore off. But I suppose if you know that you are destined for a hip replacement anyway, then does it really matter? As long as you get an X-ray periodically to monitor the situation, and don't do anything stupid, it seems to me that it might be OK.

    If the shot gave me some longer-term relief, it would enable me to get more active and lose this extra 15 pounds and get stronger. Then when I finally got the surgery, I'd be in a better position for a faster recovery.
  8. Josephine

    Josephine

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    Post #8 on May 9, 2012
    Sometimes the actual needle doesn't hurt but when they inject the fluid it feels like a serious pressure build up in there - which of course, it is! But it goes away after a few minutes when the fluid seeps into other areas.
  9. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Post #9 on May 9, 2012
    I've had 3 done in my left hip and 2 in my right hip. Each one felt different.

    Jo is right, the needle itself doesn't hurt; it's the pressure/pain feeling as the fluid is going into the joint that hurts--but it varied from injection to injection in my case.

    Some of mine made my leg ache a lot as it was being done and others were just a little twingy. All done by the same surgeon who is very experienced. I think it's just hit or miss. The good thing is that it's over with quickly--just a minute or so. I've never had the pain go on past a couple of minutes. After that, the lidocaine that goes in along with the steroid numbs up the joint and it feels much better for a little while ... unfortunately, that wears off soon after ...

    I've had the spinal injections too and I know what you mean about the pain sometimes going down your leg for a period of days (or even up to a week for one of mine) afterwards. I never experienced that phenomenon with my hip injections, though. The pressure/pain/ache stopped when he stopped pushing the medication into the joint. It was sometimes a little achy for a couple of days after, but not bad at all.

    Dorothy
  10. enoughpain

    enoughpain New Member

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    Post #10 on May 10, 2012
    I had a cortisone shot in the right hip on 4/12/12. The OS injected marcaine along with the cortisone, as we were trying to determine how much of my leg pain was coming from the hip, since I also have problems with the piriformis and IT Band. My OS does these at the hospital under fluoroscopy and it was treated like a surgical procedure - pre-op bloodwork and EKG, IV in my hand and anesthesiologist standing by. I had requested, and my OS agreed, that I not be "knocked out", as I thought that was a bit much for an injection. At one point, I asked the OS how far on he was and he said "about halfway"- I was not in any pain, but the anesthesiologist was so jumpy that he put something in the IV and I woke up in recovery! The pain was greatly improved for about 5 hours until the marcaine wore off, but I have had little improvement from the cortisone. Since I am bone-on-bone in the hip, OS didn't expect the cortisone to do much.

    The cool part is that the injection was done on the PRO-fx table which is used for anterior approach THR. Very interesting.

    You should be fine with the injection. I had absolutely no negative after-effects, despite some of the ridiculous stories I have read on other websites. One of the things that impresses me about this forum is that everyone seems so level-headed and sincere. I give more credence to what I read here than any other site.

    Good luck!
  11. calmom51

    calmom51 Junior Member

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    Post #11 on May 10, 2012
    It sounds ridiculous, but I'm even having second thoughts about the cortisone shot. The reason is: my hip pain varies from day to day. For the past couple of days it hasn't been bad at all. But then again, I have been EXTREMELY sedentary. When I try to become more active, that's when it seems to hurt more and cause the muscles in other leg to tighten up. And when I say "more active" I just mean walking and doing simple errands around town, being on my feet more. And trying to sit at my desk and work, instead of reclining on the sofa with my laptop.

    My shot is scheduled for May 23rd. On July 2nd, we are going to the Caribbean, back to a beautiful place we love. Unfortunately, our rental is on the 3rd floor and there is no elevator. I keep thinking: 3 flights of stairs -- can I handle that for 10 solid days? That is what makes me think I should get the shot. Because if it works, then those stairs will probably not be an issue.

    Is there ever a case when a cortisone shot makes things worse instead of better? (Aside from the possible flair during the first week)?

    I guess I just suffer from "Crystal Ball Syndrome," wishing I could know what the outcome would be.
  12. BJ Mac

    BJ Mac Sr Bonesmartie

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    Post #12 on May 10, 2012
    Yes, I think that we would all like the crystal ball. I had a cortisone shot in my left hip for the bursitis caused by my walking being so off balance because of my right knee some time before surgery. The shot was given with some sort of numbing agent first. The cortisone shot did not hurt, but it did not help me either. On the other hand at some point I had a cortisone shot in my one knee and received relief from it for a time.

    It seems to me that from the replies that people seem to either get relief from the cortisone shot or not, but it doesn't seem that people are stating that they were worse off from getting one. Given those results and if it were me and I had an upcoming vacation I think that I would choose to get the cortisone shot and hope that I was one of the ones that got relief from it.

    Hang in there! And I hope that the cortisone brings you relief for a time and that you have an enjoyable vacation.
  13. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Post #13 on May 10, 2012
    I've had 5 between the two hips and I've never been worse off after. Talk with your doctor before you cancel. I think the injection is worth trying.

    Dorothy
  14. 1ELISEA

    1ELISEA

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    Post #14 on May 12, 2012
    :I-Agree:
    I hesitated before having cortisone shots in my knee.

    Made a world of difference for me but didn't realize it until after I had the shot and could compare the before and after.
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