Cortisone injections are extremely safe, but they do still have potential problems. If you are concerned about having a cortisone shot, talk with your doctor. While cortisone is a powerful treatment for many orthopedic conditions, there are usually other options that can also be tried. Many doctors will offer an injection as they are quick, easy, and most often effective. However, your doctor should also be able to offer other treatments for inflammation that may also be effective for those that cannot have, or don't want, a cortisone injection.
Nerve damage. This occurs in only about one in every 10,000 cases but could happen if the doctor accidentally jabs a nerve during the procedure. Nerve damage could result in incontinence, chronic back pain and, in rare instances, paralysis.
print Source: David Borenstein, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, with a private practice at Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates based in Chevy Chase, Rockville and Wheaton, Maryland, and Washington, DC. The author of Heal Your Back (M. Evans & Company), Dr. Borenstein is also the host of Speaking of Health with Dr. B , a weekly radio program on . Date: April 1, 2013 Publication: Bottom Line Health
Although corticosteroid injections have been used for many decades to treat back pain, the effectiveness and safety of the drugs for this use have not been established, and at this time, corticosteroids are not FDA-approved for this use. In April 2014, the . Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space of the spine may result in rare but serious adverse events , including loss of vision, stroke, paralysis, and death. According to the FDA, patients should discuss the benefits and risks of epidural corticosteroid injections with their health care providers.