Cortisone

Given how wonderfully cortisone injections have helped my shoulders in the past, I was considering asking my rheumy about it.  BUT, both shoulders would be nice, not just one.  While we’re at it, how about elbows and wrists, ankles…  Maybe not such a good idea.  I didn’t bring it up.

We did, however, talk about how much my shoulders were hurting and she suggested a cortisone injection.  I asked if (1) she could do both shoulders, or (2) there was something systemic instead of limiting it to one joint.  Shot down twice!

  1. Only one joint injection at a time.  No reason given, but I already know that insurance will only pay for one so I’m guessing that’s the reason.
  2. The biologics are considered systemic and if we try prednisone right now, it wouldn’t be clear if any improvement is from the pred or from the Enbrel.  Only one change at a time.

The one-change-at-a-time part makes perfect sense to me.  I remember a couple years ago when I was given three prescriptions and asked a few weeks later which one had helped.  First time I ever showed annoyance with a medical professional.  How could I possibly know which med was responsible – or if my improvement was a complete coincidence and not related to any of the medications?

My rheumatologist uses depo-medrol (as did my former rheumy) for these injections, and my PCP uses kenalog.  My shoulder hurts worse now than it did before Wednesday’s cortisone shot.  Seriously.  Horrible, burning pain all the time instead of the aggravating rotator-cuff issues I’ve had off-and-on for the past few years.

I don’t know if the difference is the specific steroid or the skill of the person wielding the needle, but I will go on record here and now that if I ever get another steroid shot in the future, it will be from my PCP.

In completely unrelated news, my eldest child turned 16 and now has a driver’s license.

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6 thoughts on “Cortisone

  1. My PCP gives great shots! I’ve had both shoulders shot up several times over the years. The right has a full rotator cuff tear and the left ac joint gets inflamed every so often. My PCP also uses kenalog and not only that, but he numbs the shot areas before injecting the cortisone. I never feel a thing. I mean nothing. He’s also injected both my thumb joints years ago before I had surgery to reconstruct the joints. I never felt that either. Orthos and rheumys don’t numb areas before cortisone injections. I think that is malpractice. I’ve never had less than 100% positive results from injections given by my PCP. I’ve never had more than 25% results from injections given by an ortho or rheumy.

    Hope the shoulder gets better soon.

    And congrats on having a new driver in the family. I remember those days all too well and glad they’re more than a decade in the past! LOL

    • I’ll have student drivers for many years. It’s simultaneously frightening and a relief :)

      My PCP doesn’t use numbing spray; my rheumy does. Just the opposite of your docs! It doesn’t matter much one way or the other to me; I don’t usually feel the needle in my shoulders. Now the injection into my hip — oh, my! That one hurt! Maybe PCPs get more practice than the other specialties.

  2. It’s probably a combination of both the type and the skill of the provider. I hope the burning ends soon and that maybe it’s just going to take a few more days for it to kick in! At any rate, will keep my eyes and whatever joints I can crossed that this happens soon! I feel for ya lady!

  3. Your ‘oh by the way’ aside on the new driver in the fam is huge. Freedom for you, and a step-up in that parental vulnerability sans control–a huge milestone!

    • :) I’m looking forward to being able to send him to the store, but it’s scary. Nobody wants to be overprotective, so I’m trying to find the right balance of teaching, then letting him spread his wings.

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