A corticosteroid injection is given to reduce inflammation. It usually is made up of long acting local anaesthetic and steroid.
Why would it be done?
They are frequently given for painful joints, trapped nerves and around ligaments. In the foot, these injections are often given to help in the diagnosis as well to control the symptoms. Some of these injections can be given in an outpatient clinic but others need to be given in an operating theatre using X-rays to guide the needle.
What does the injection involve?
The foot is placed in position so that the required joint can be seen on the X-ray and the local anaesthetic and steroid is injected in one go.
Can it be done as a day case operation?
Yes, but it is usually necessary to have someone drive you home afterwards while the local anaesthetic is working.
What will happen afterwards?
You can go home when comfortable and safe. It is advisable to rest your foot for the remainder of the day. The local anaesthetic usually wears off after 6 – 10 hours and your foot may feel bruised for a couple of days. You can take your normal painkillers if necessary. You can return to your normal activities as soon as you are able. The steroid takes 2 – 3 weeks to have is maximum effect and it may last for several months. You will be seen in outpatients 6 – 8 weeks after your injection.
What can go wrong?
The injection may not relieve all of your pain and it may not last very long. Very rarely an infection can occur at the site if the injection.