What are steroid injections?
Steroid injections are used in the field of Podiatric medicine to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders. The most commonly used steroid is methylprednisilone, this is a corticosteroid medication used to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. A steroid injection can be injected into or around a joint, tendon, or ligament, or used for clinical diagnostic purposes.
The steroid is injected with local anaesthetic into the affected area to reduce inflammation, pain and discomfort. The effects of the injection work progressively over a six week period, although many patients feel the benefits of the injection straight away. The effectiveness of an injection would depend on a few factors: how long the structure has been injured, and the type of structure i.e ligament or tendon. The risks, benefits, and success rates of steroid injections vary, depending on the structure being injected. This would be discussed with you by your podiatrist at your consultation.
Which conditions can steroid injections help with?
Steroid injections can be useful in the treatment of the following conditions;
- Plantar fasciitis / Heel pain.
- Morton’s Neuroma.
- Hallux rigidus/limitus.
- Sinus Tarsi syndrome.
- Ligament injury.
How do steroid injections work?
The substance “cortisone” which is injected, is produced naturally by the adrenal gland and has a strong anti-inflammatory effect on the body. The steroid injection works by suppressing the immune system locally which reduces any inflammation in the area, this in turn provides pain relief.
What are the benefits of steroid injections?
The following are some of the benefits of using steroid injections in podiatry;
- Provides relief from pain and discomfort.
- Helps to improve range of motion at the joint.
- Allows you to return to normal activity.
- Reduces swelling and inflammation.
- Steroid injections have fewer side effects than oral steroids.
- Injections work faster and more directly than creams or NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.
How can our team help if you need an injection?
During your initial consultation, we will fully assess your feet and take a full history of your symptoms. Your Podiatrist will discuss a specific treatment plan for your condition and formulate a unique management plan to reduce your symptoms, and improve your condition.
If you are assessed as medically suitable, our extended scope Podiatry practitioners will be able to complete the injection procedure after discussing the intended benefits, risks and outcomes. Further information can be found on the PDF pamphlet within this webpage.
A gait analysis and biomechanical examination may be booked following your initial consultation. This is important to identify the cause of the mechanical stress on the affected foot structure which may be caused by the way you are walking or running. At our gait labs in Earlsfield and Maidenhead our specialist infra-red pressure mats may be used to provide data to look at increased forces through your feet to help diagnose the cause of the pain experienced. Orthotics may also be utilised as they are a useful modality to help off load the injured structures in the foot following an injection.