How Long Does a Cortisone Shot Last in the Knee: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re experiencing knee pain or inflammation, you may have heard about cortisone shots. These injections are commonly used to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory joint conditions. But how long does a cortisone shot last in the knee? In this guide, we’ll take a look at what cortisone shots are, how they work, and how long you can expect their effects to last.

What Are Cortisone Shots?

Cortisone shots, also known as corticosteroid injections, are a type of medication that is injected directly into a joint to reduce inflammation and pain. The medication used in these injections is a synthetic form of cortisol, a hormone produced naturally by the body’s adrenal gland. Cortisol is responsible for regulating the body’s immune response and reducing inflammation, making it an effective treatment for joint pain and inflammation.

How Do Cortisone Shots Work?

When cortisone is injected into the knee joint, it quickly reduces inflammation by suppressing the body’s immune response. This reduces swelling and pain, allowing the joint to move more freely and without discomfort. The effects of a cortisone shot are generally felt within a few days of the injection and can last for several weeks or even months.

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How Long Do Cortisone Shots Last in the Knee?

The length of time that a cortisone shot lasts in the knee can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the inflammation, the type of cortisone used, and the individual’s response to the medication. In general, the effects of a cortisone shot can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

What Are the Side Effects of Cortisone Shots?

While cortisone shots can be an effective treatment for knee pain and inflammation, they do come with some potential side effects. These can include:

  • Pain or discomfort at the injection site
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Flushing of the face
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Weakening of the surrounding bones, ligaments, and tendons with repeated use

It’s important to discuss these potential side effects with your healthcare provider before receiving a cortisone shot.


If you’re experiencing knee pain or inflammation, a cortisone shot may be an effective treatment option. However, it’s important to understand the potential benefits and risks associated with this treatment. By working with your healthcare provider, you can determine whether a cortisone shot is the right choice for you and develop a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs.

Remember, the effects of a cortisone shot can vary depending on several factors, so it’s important to have realistic expectations about how long the effects will last. With the right care and management, a cortisone shot can provide long-lasting relief from knee pain and inflammation, allowing you to get back to the activities you enjoy most.

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