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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Cortisone Injection Hazards
Posted by: Richard
Date: February 4, 2006 8:16 PM

I am a 50 year old male and had surgery to remove my spleen three years ago. I am having tremendous pain in my ankle with medication providing no relief. A friend suggested that I get a cortisone injection directly into the ankle. Another friend said this could be very hazardous to my adrenal system as I have no spleen and could potentially be deadly. What is the potential for a reaction and why?

RE: Cortisone Injection Hazards
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 4, 2006 9:29 PM

Good treatment depends on good diagnosis. As far as I can read from you comment, I do not see that you have suggested a diagnosis. If you are otherwise healthy, one cortisone injection should not have a serious systemic effect. If your doctor is treating a bursitis, it is absolutely the right thing to do. If you have arthritis, the beneficial effect will be temporary and the cortisone will cause further degenerative changes. As far as I know having a spleen or not having a spleen is irrelevant to the effects of a cortisone injection. I am not recommending any of this or course, as you are not my patient.

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