Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments: Steroid Injections

Our bodies are made up of a complex network of unique systems that work in tandem to help us walk, stand, eat, and function in our everyday lives. A large part of this network is the body’s musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is made up of our bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, working together to hold the body upright and allow for mobility.

When an injury occurs to one of the parts of this system, it's time to see an orthopaedic specialist. If you’ve been experiencing orthopaedic pain or an orthopaedic injury your orthopaedic specialist will craft a multi-faceted treatment approach best suited for your needs. We’ve all known someone who has had a bad hip or knee replaced, but if your suffering from orthopaedic pain the idea of surgery may be intense and daunting. Fortunately, surgery is not the only course of treatment for orthopaedic ailments.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatment

After diagnosing your orthopaedic condition, your specialist will seek the least invasive treatment plan to begin you on your healing journey. Conservative, non-surgical orthopaedic treatment methods include:

  • NSAIDs: Non-steroid based drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen that reduce pain and inflammation.
  • PRICE Method: Protect, rest, ice, compress, and elevate.
  • Physical Therapy: It is common for many orthopaedic injuries, often sports-related injuries, to be caused by poor technique, muscle weakness, or overuse. Physical therapy can assist in conditioning the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as well as include flexibility and assist with technique education. Physical therapy is often utilized in conjunction with other non-invasive methods of treatment.
  • Steroid Injections: Steroid based drugs, which are injected into problem areas to reduce inflammation-causing pain. These are often used in tandem with physical therapy.

If you and your physician have tried the at-home use of NSAIDs, and the price method without sufficient success, it’s time to consider physical therapy and steroid injections. Physical therapy will give you the experience you can use moving forward to reduce pain and avoid further injury. However, if the pain is too great to effectively perform the physical therapy you may require steroid injections first.

Injection Therapy

The use of steroid injections for the treatment of orthopaedic ailments dates back to 1952 when they were first used to treat lumbar spine conditions. Today, steroid injections are commonly used to treat orthopaedic pain in multiple areas of the body. Steroid injections may be used to treat conditions such as:

  • Muscle strain
  • Tissue trauma
  • Gout
  • Tendinitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative joint disease

Depending on your condition, you may require one of several types of steroid injections for treatment. Different steroid injections include:

  • Epidural steroid injection: Also known as ESI, is used to help alleviate neck, arm, leg, and back pain caused by inflammation in the spinal nerves. This inflammation is often caused by conditions such as spinal stenosis or herniated discs. The ESI is injected into the epidural space, the fat-filled area between the spinal bone and nerves.
  • Cervical Injections: Used to relieve neck and shoulder pain caused by pinched nerves in the cervical spine by reducing nerve swelling. A mixture of an anesthetic and steroid solution is injected into the epidural space of the cervical spine.
  • Corticosteroid injections: Like cervical injections, corticosteroid injections are made up of a combination of an inflammation-reducing steroid and anesthetic numbing agent. Does not contain a pain reliever, but helps relieve pain through inflammation reduction. Effective in treating conditions such as arthritis, and for treating smaller areas like joints and tendons.

Pain Management Treatments at MidAmerica Orthopaedics

At MidAmerica Orthopaedics, specialists including Dr. Robert Metzler utilize their expertise in injectable therapies in conjunction with the teams at our Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy clinics to help improve patient’s quality of life in the least invasive way possible.

Robert Metzler, MD
Robert Metzler, MD

To learn more about MidAmerica Orthopaedics and the different treatment options available to you, request an appointment online or call (708) 237-7200. MidAmerica Orthopaedics serves various areas such as Chicago, Tinley Park, Palos Hills, Mokena, Evergreen Park, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and more.

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