Hand surgeon Steven Goldberg, MD, answers your questions about steroid injections.
Steroid injections are a common non-operative treatment for multiple musculoskeletal conditions. The following are a list of some conditions where steroid injections may be recommended:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- DeQuervain’s tendonitis (pain at the wrist near the base of thumb)
- Joint synovitis or arthritis
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
- Shoulder bursitis
How do steroids work?
There are different types of steroids. Glucocorticoid steroids are the ones used to treat the musculoskeletal problems listed above. There are many different types of steroids that have different onsets of action, duration, solubility, and reasons for use. Any single medication may be used at different doses and volumes depending on the clinical problem. There is no single steroid regimen that is “best”. They have different effects on many different types of tissue, but they may work to reduce inflammation and change the array of proteins that cells make.