What can I expect after my cortisone injection?

Knowing what to expect after a cortisone injection can help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.

How will I feel after the treatment?

Pain is often reduced or relieved following a cortisone injection. There may be mild, temporary tenderness at the injection site after the procedure. You will also feel a little drowsy if you had sedative or pain medications.  

Follow your doctor’s instructions for rest and the use of ice packs after a cortisone injection. Your doctor may give you pain medication to control pain.

When can I go home?

Patients often go home right after a cortisone injection. If you had any sedative medications, you will go home when the major effects of sedation have worn off and you are fully alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. You may need a ride home from your procedure. You may also need help at home for the first 24 hours.

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after a cortisone injection. Contact your doctor for questions and concerns between appointments. Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Bleeding 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Drainage from the injection site
  • Fever (you should not have any fever after a minor procedure)
  • New or unexplained symptoms
  • Pain that is not controlled by your pain medication
  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Severe or persistent headache or back pain
  • Skin changes
  • Swelling, warmth or redness