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Doctor insights on: What Are Some Pros And Cons For Cortisone Shots Vs Surgery For Back Pain

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What are some pros and cons for cortisone shots vs surgery for back pain?

What are some pros and cons for cortisone shots vs surgery for back pain?

It depends...: The choice in selecting cortisone versus surgery for back pain depends on the cause of back pain. Inflammation is best treated with anti-inflammatories, such as cortison while mechanical derangements may need surgery. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
4,722 Doctors shared insights

Back Pain (Definition)

Pain in the back is a symptom that can be due to a number of causes including musculoskeletal or neurological problems or due to problems ...Read more


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What is better for severe lower back pain, cortisone shots or oral steroids?

What is better for severe lower back pain, cortisone shots or oral steroids?

Both are the same: Cortison shots or oral steroids, one taken by mouth and the injected for faster relief. For acute attack I prefer the injections. ...Read more

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If cortisone shots don't work what would be the next option for treating lower back pain that is sending pain down my leg n bottom?

If cortisone shots don't work what would be the next option for treating lower back pain that is sending pain down my leg n bottom?

Nerve damage: Great question... Its very important to treat pain and to prevent nerve damage. There are multiple ways to treat a herniated disc. They include: weight loss, physical therapy, chiropractic care, disc decompression (traction), epidural injections, intradiscal procedures, and surgery. An EMG is the best test to see if you have old or active nerve damage (if so- you need surgery). ...Read more

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Severe sciatic leg pain 3 mths, stretching an pt bring on severe low back pain, just got cortisone shot, waiting 4 relief, can I still avoid surgery?

Potentially: The majority of caes of sciatica will resolve over time or respond to nonoperative care. It also depends in part on the cause of the sciatica. For example, a disc herniation will heal but a bone spur does not. Among the strongest nonoperative interventions are usually done by an interventional spine specialist and include a nerve root block for sciatica. Thank you for your question. ...Read more

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How long should I wait before having surgery for iliopsoas snapping? I've tried pt, nsaids and cortisone shots (12 of them).

How long should I wait before having surgery for iliopsoas snapping? I've tried pt, nsaids and cortisone shots (12 of them).

Tends to improve: Hard to answer that question but in my experience snapping hip syndrome tends to improve w/ time. Occassionally 'snapping hip' is misdiagnosed or in conjunction w/ another hip abnormality (labral tear).If u can tolerate the discomfort w/ nsaids I would wait on having the surgery as it causes no long term problems and generally improves as u get older... Plus surgery is not 100% or benign. ...Read more

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I have Morton's neuroma. Have had cortisone shots, alcohol shots, epac and to no avail. I hear surgery is risky. Thx for your advice.

I have Morton's neuroma. Have had cortisone shots, alcohol shots, epac and to no avail. I hear surgery is risky. Thx for your advice.

What is: Risky about it? Have them cut the transverse ligament.....very little risk there. You can leave the neuroma alone. ..if that doesn't work then you can remove the neuroma.... ...Read more

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I have Morton's neuroma in my right footHave had cortisone shots, alcohol shots, epac and to no avail. I hear surgery is risky. Thx for your advice.

I have Morton's neuroma in my right footHave had cortisone shots, alcohol shots, epac and to no avail. I hear surgery is risky. Thx for your advice.

No Not risky surgery: As non operative treatment failed, your doctor advised you to under go surgery, is simple removal of that thickened (neuroma) nerve, a low risk out patient procedure. If you want you can even take a second opinion, your doctor will not object may even help you to get one. ...Read more

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Can a herniated disk heal itself after 3 cortisone shots without surgery?

Can a herniated disk heal itself after 3 cortisone shots without surgery?

Maybe: Cortisone injections (why 3? ...There is no standard to do 3 shots.) can help the inflammatory process of the nerve roots irritated by the disc hernitaion. These injections do not "heal" the disc, but can cause accelerated pain relief. Disc herniations occasionally resorb (disintegrate) over time, but there is no guarantee that a disc is healed once the pain is gone, even from injection therapy. ...Read more

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How many cortisone shots can I have for tennis elbow before I should have surgery?

How many cortisone shots can I have for tennis elbow before I should have surgery?

2 or 3: Studies have shown that injecting the elbow makes it may likely that the tennis elbow will recur. After 2 or 3 injections it is time to consider other options. ...Read more

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Can you give me more info on trigger thumb, and can it be cured without surgery or cortisone shots?

Can you give me more info on trigger thumb, and can it be cured without surgery or cortisone shots?

Prob. Not: Nodular tenosynovitis of the a1 pulley of your flexor tendon of your thumb (fpl), or 'trigger thumb' is very common and can be both painful and disabling. 'locking' of the thumb @ the wrong time can be problematic as u know. U could try wearing a splint and taking a steroid "dose pak"but this is unlikely to resolve the problem... If it continues to lock and hurt consider a1 pulley release. Gl! ...Read more

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I've had surgery on my knee to remove cartilage and I get cortisone shots now, is there something I can do so I don't need shots anymore?

I've had surgery on my knee to remove cartilage and I get cortisone shots now, is there something I can do so I don't need shots anymore?

Bracing anti-inflammatories: Other treatments can include oral anti-inflammatories, bracing to shift weight from the affected side of the knee to areas where there's healthy cartilage, or injection therapy called visco-supplementation. ...Read more

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Sever oa in both my knees doc won't give anymore cortisone shots too young for surgery in sever pain keeping active but hurts what else can be done?

Sever oa in both my knees doc won't give anymore cortisone shots too young for surgery in sever pain keeping active but hurts what else can be done?

See details: First of all, it is very unusual for a 35 year old to have advanced oa of the knees. I would seek a second opinion with a rheumatologist. If you truly have advanced oa, nonsurgical options are very limited. You can try injectable lubricants which can occasionally help in advanced disease. ...Read more

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Osteioartheritis in my knees 35 too young for surgery tried cortisone shots, mobic (meloxicam) and spritz shots nothing works. Will I ever be able to have surgery?

Osteioartheritis in my knees 35 too young for surgery tried cortisone shots, mobic (meloxicam) and spritz shots nothing works. Will I ever be able to have surgery?

Consider further wou: 35 years old seems very young to have osteoarthritis in the knees bad enough to be contemplating a total knee replacement. Consider an MRI to be sure there is nothing simpler causing your problem that might be treated through a scope and a rheumatology referral to rule out an inflammatory arthritis that could be treated with meds. Thank you. ...Read more

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Tried the brace; no luck. What can help Carpal Tunnel besides cortisone shots or surgery?

Tried the brace; no luck. What can help Carpal Tunnel besides cortisone shots or surgery?

Possibilities: Would rate the following about 35% effective, but might be tried: Pyridoxine phosphate 100 mg twice daily for 6 weeks, with an added anti-inflammatory med such as Naproxen Sodium 375 mg thrice daily. ...Read more

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I'm 34 and been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees I'm too youn for surgery and doc won't give me any more cortisone shots what else can I do?

I'm 34 and been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees I'm too youn for surgery and doc won't give me any more cortisone shots what else can I do?

Keep active: As much as is possible for you. If you are overweight, this is hard on your knees, too. Having oa makes us want to sit and rest, but that is the worst thing to do. Keep moving. Slowly, maybe. Just walking if that what you can do. Keep with your pt. Don't give up. Don't get old before your time! ...Read more

Dr. Qamar Khan
3,438 Doctors shared insights

Pain In The Back (Definition)

Pain in the back = dorsalgia = discomfort of any ...Read more