Will Cortisone Injections Ease My Painful Hip Arthritis?

The Short Answer from a rheumatologist

Will Cortisone Injections Ease My Hip Arthritis? (Short Answer)

Q: Will cortisone injections ease my painful hip arthritis?

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A: If your hip joint is severely arthritic, a cortisone injection may bring temporary, but not long-lasting, relief. Because the hip is a weight-bearing joint, a single injection should last for about six months.

However, if you experience minimal or no relief, I wouldn’t repeat the injections. Joint injections carry the risk of bleeding and infection. Also, frequent corticosteroid injections into any joint can lead to osteonecrosis. In this condition, the blood supply to bone decreases, and bone tissue breaks down. In some cases, frequent injections may also accelerate joint damage.

For a mildly arthritic hip, physical therapy, analgesics and NSAIDs can provide relief. For a severely arthritic hip that doesn’t respond to medications, joint replacement may be the answer. 

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— Arthritis specialist Scott Burg, DO

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