Every patient comes to Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists with a unique combination of medical condition, severity, health, age, and other such factors. This means that we need to create treatment plans that take all of those factors into consideration. Our hope is to use conservative care methods whenever possible, but sometimes we need to use cortisone or other steroid shots to relieve painful symptoms and restore mobility.

In the same way that postoperative instructions are important for optimal healing, so too are post-injection instructions. Understanding what to expect if you are about to undergo this procedure, or having a reminder if you have already had an injection, will help you make smart decisions for your own health.

Why We Use Injections

Put simply, cortisone and other steroid injections can provide relief for pain and inflammation caused by a variety of medical issues. Some of the more common conditions include osteoarthritis, bursitis, gout, Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, and tendinitis.

These shots are often used in joints and may include a local anesthetic to go with the corticosteroid being administered. We perform this simple procedure right here in our Austin, TX office. It is important to note that the number of corticosteroid injections a patient can receive in a year may be limited.

Post-Injection Instructions and Notes

After the injection, you may feel:

  • Some numbness, weakness or tenderness in the foot or ankle. This is normal and caused by the anesthetic. It should improve within a few hours.
  • Local tenderness at the injection site. This is also normal. Apply ice to the area for 20 minutes 3-4 times per day and rest. Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Ibuprofen (Advil) or Naprosyn (Aleve) can be used to relieve any minor discomfort.
  • Local swelling or redness at the site of the injection can be expected, but if there are raised, red, or significantly tender areas, call us.
  • If steroid (Dexamethasone, Kenalog) was used, it may take several days for effects to be felt. Occasionally, the steroid causes pain to increase for 1-2 days before it improves your symptoms.
  • Occasionally, the steroid can cause a temporary adverse reaction. This typically includes flushing or redness of the face and/or sleeplessness. Benadryl can be taken to relieve these symptoms, which usually only last a couple of days.
  • Restrictions include not submerging the procedure site in standing water such as a hot tub, bathtub, or swimming pool for 24 hours, as these can slightly increase the risk of infection.
  • If you are diabetic, the injection may cause your blood sugars to elevate. Please check your blood sugar frequently for the next 2-3 days after the injection. Make adjustments as necessary. You may have to notify the doctor who treats your diabetes if you have elevated blood sugars so you can be treated appropriately.

Contact our office as soon as possible if any of the following occurs:

  • Fevers, chills
  • Severe increase of pain
  • Allergic reaction
  • If you think “something does not feel right”

Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Treatment in Austin, TX

As we noted earlier, our goal is to treat the issue that is causing you pain or restricting your ability to perform favorite activities with nonsurgical methods. This might include a cortisone or other steroid shot, so feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your post-injection instructions.

Don’t let foot pain interrupt your life! Instead, visit our doctors at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists and see for yourself how we continually raise and exceed the bar for patient expectations. Call us at (512) 328-8900 for more information, or use our online form and schedule your appointment today.