Side effects of a cortisone shot in the shoulder

The usefulness of corticosteroids is limited despite their notable potency due to their numerous side effects. The negative effects of corticosteroids seem to be correlated with both their cumulative duration and average dose. More commonly, adverse effects are more frequent at greater dosages and with chronic use.

The most common adverse effects of cortisone shots in the shoulder are:  

  • Pain: Pain after a cortisone shot at the area of insertion of the needle is a common temporary side effect
  • Skin atrophy and Depigmentation: Cortisone use induces skin atrophy, leading to thinning and fragility of the skin
  • Gastrointestinal reactions: Multiple gastrointestinal effects correlate with corticosteroid therapy, including gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and abdominal distention may occur
  • Cartilage damage: Cortisone shots cause damage to the cartilage forming cells with destruction and thinning of joint cartilage with a decrease in cartilage cell growth and repair
  • Hyperglycaemia: Cortisone injections are the most common cause of drug-induced diabetes mellitus. Corticosteroid treatment also increases insulin resistance in patients with diabetes mellitus.
  • Osteoporosis: Corticosteroids have also been shown to cause a decrease in bone formation

Reflex: Shoulder Mobility App 

Monitor pain and shoulder range of motion using the Reflex app on iOS.

Image shows iOS app for measuring shoulder range of motion after broken shoulder
Reflex is an iOS app that allows you to measure and track your shoulder’s range of motion. You can use Reflex to see how a cortisone shot affects the range of motion in your shoulder.



More on Cortisone Shots

1. What happens if a cortisone shot in the shoulder doesn’t work?

2. How long does a cortisone shot last in the shoulder?

3. Side effects of a cortisone shot in the shoulder

4. How soon can I exercise after a cortisone injection in the shoulder?

5. Will a cortisone shot help a torn shoulder labrum?

6. How painful is a cortisone shot in the shoulder?

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