2 doctors weighed in:

How painful and how effective is a cortisone shot in the hip? I have had increasing pain in my hip for a handful of years now. I have been told by one doctor that there is osteoarthritis, and by a neurologist that it is trochanteric bursitis . Also some f

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Anderson
Sports Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: If

If you have bursitis, a cortisone shot usually isn't too uncomfortable for the patient.
If you have osteoarthritis, the injection is technically more difficult and may be more uncomfortable. A bursitis injection can easily be done in the doctor's office while an intra-articular injection (for osteoarthritis) is often given under x-ray guidance. The response to both may be variable: anything from complete, long-term relief to nothing. The response to injection depends on the accuracy of the diagnosis as well as the efficacy of other concurrent treatment strategies such as activity modification and physical therapy, with suspected bursitis, it is important to evaluate the low back to make sure that the hip pain isn't referred from a bulging disc or sciatica. With injections in the joint, there may be some accelerated cartilage breakdown secondary to effects of the corticosteroid. The duration of relief, if any, tends to be shorter for these injections as well. There are fewer risks with injections in the bursa. However, if multiple injections are required, there is some concern about the cummulative effects of the corticosteroid that is absorbed in the system and there is probably a reason to look at other treatment options.

In brief: If

If you have bursitis, a cortisone shot usually isn't too uncomfortable for the patient.
If you have osteoarthritis, the injection is technically more difficult and may be more uncomfortable. A bursitis injection can easily be done in the doctor's office while an intra-articular injection (for osteoarthritis) is often given under x-ray guidance. The response to both may be variable: anything from complete, long-term relief to nothing. The response to injection depends on the accuracy of the diagnosis as well as the efficacy of other concurrent treatment strategies such as activity modification and physical therapy, with suspected bursitis, it is important to evaluate the low back to make sure that the hip pain isn't referred from a bulging disc or sciatica. With injections in the joint, there may be some accelerated cartilage breakdown secondary to effects of the corticosteroid. The duration of relief, if any, tends to be shorter for these injections as well. There are fewer risks with injections in the bursa. However, if multiple injections are required, there is some concern about the cummulative effects of the corticosteroid that is absorbed in the system and there is probably a reason to look at other treatment options.
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