Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A fresh warning about the dangers of cortisone injections

I continue to receive inquiries from people who have had cortisone injections to treat injuries to joints, tendons and ligaments, or have recommended that they undergo such treatment. This type of treatment remains disturbingly common and the consequences can be catastrophic.

Photo: Example of chemical excision by cortisone injection causing permanent damage to the ankle joint (note the large indentation where the lateral ligaments of the ankle once were). Only one injection is required to cripple the recipient.

Cortisone is a form of chemical excision. It kills living cells, dissolving living tissue, killing off everything it has contact with. While the relief from pain may be immediate and lasting, the adverse consequences may not appear for weeks or months or even years later. The consequences may be the catastrophic snapping of a tendon or muscle, loss of protective ligaments or the loss of protective cushioning tissue, such as that found in the heel pad. While many people get away without apparent long term consequences, I can tell you that many people definitely are not so fortunate.

Why is it that cortisone continues to be used to widely and for so many different musculoskeletal problems?

  • It is cheap, quick and easy and can be done in any medical consulting room
  • Relief from pain is instant and it tends to lastJust 1-4 injections seem to do the job which is usually much better and quicker than one would get than other therapies like physio
  • If there are any catastrophic consequences, the association with the cortisone injections may never be known and the injecting Dr will never be any the wiser
When a Dr tells you the "risk is 1/1000" bear in mind that this estimation may be based on worthless stats that do not take account the dozens and dozens of unreported adverse side effects that run parallel to each reported case!

If you have an injury that fails to respond to rest and/or medical treatment, or are bothered by chronic pain and treatment with cortisone has been recommended, you are welcome to write to me and I will do my best to assist with helping you with deciding on what is the best course of action to take.
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