Joint injections - how long do they take ... - Arthritis Action

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Joint injections - how long do they take to work?


Hi, I had steroid injections into my wrists yesterday. It's the first time I've had them. How long do they take to work? It's nearly 24 hours on and so far I'm not experiencing much change. A little but not very much improvement at all. I was left without treatment for several months while things got progressively worse. Firstly due to a waiting list issue then just as my appointment arrived so did lockdown. I was in a really terrible state by yesterday and wonder if this might make the injections less effective or mean they will take longer to work?

8 Replies

Hi mine only lasted 13 days I was very disappointed I had it in my thump it was the worst pain having it done hope yours lasts for you when it kicks in.🌷

I was told it can take up to a week to experience the full effect. It’s really important to keep the joint still for the first 24 hours. I’ve had knee, shoulder and ankle injections. They’ve always been successful and last 2-3 months. Good luck.

That’s a how long a piece of string question lol Ive had a couple first one felt improvement after 24hrs last few weeks second one took about 12 hours and last about a week. Nurse says no point if I’m not benefiting. Hopefully yours does and won’t take much longer 🙂

Mine only lasted a week and they still offer when i say they haven't worked. Hope you have a better result.

Thank you for your replies. 3 days on and my hands are better, not perfect by a long shot but I can now brush my teeth, wash, dress and do a little cooking without too much pain. So a definite improvement. However it seems RA won't leave me along and now my knees have flared up big time 🤔

I was taken off methotrexate after being diagnosed with heart failure. Methotrexate was clearly doing a good job. While on it I did have mini flares but they were nothing like this. I think I'm going to have to go back on it, I cant live like this.

Why were you not given tablets? Also can I ask what mg the injections were or is that a silly question?

in reply to rubina786

Yes had a course of tablets, I wasn't allowed more but a was given a kenalog injection instead at the start of lockdown. I did question at the time why I could see a nurse face to face to have a kenalog injection but could not see someone face to face to have the injections in my hands??? Kenalog helped a bit for a few weeks, thereafter I was just left. My hands got so bad I couldn't clean my teeth, wash cook or basically do anything with my hands. I was in severe pain. Eventually got seen when I took photos of my hands and sent them in. Anyway 5 days on from the injections in my hands they are significantly better, not perfect by any means but much better. They are still weak and I've lost most of the muscle mass in my lower arms through lack of use. It's going to take time to recover. That's my lockdown story 🤔

I have a comment about this which I hope will not cause distress. My dear old pal, of nearly 60 years ,who is now in her 86th year has been having these injections into her joints for the last five or six years. The physio does it using ultra sound so he can guide it precisely. She told me the following,: I am not allowed to use the joint at all for several days and then I find the injection into (shoulder, wrist, knees and other joints) lasts well. The time it does last has greatly reduced and the physio told me eventually they will no longer work. So back to me, I am 76 and have in the last few years begun to have problems with my knees being painful and stiff. I saw a physio recommended by a specialist and he told me the problem in my knees was caused by lack of muscle control in my thighs and I had 6 weeks of intensive physiotherapy including laser treatments, magnetic and daily leg exercises. At the end of that period my left knee was no long painful. Since then the right knee has begun to trouble me and so I am going back to see this physio again. He advised me of two things. I would have to do the leg exercises at least 3 times a week for the rest of my life if I wanted to keep the arthritis at bay because the knees were dependent on good muscle control in the thighs etc to stay in place and healthy. He also said on no account was I to have injections because they ultimately destroy the tissue and eventually will no longer be effective. My dear pal does no exercising and the injections are no longer very effective and she is now on morphine patches. I have made my decision to exercise as advised no matter how much I hate doing it lol,,, with leg weights 3 times a week. I will not have any injections. I have to pay for the treatment because I am not in UK but in a European country where very good professionals do not cost too much. So I would advise anyone with the onset of arthritis to try to find an honest opinion about these injections and just what the result of having them will be?

Just to add I was very and did not do the exercises regularly until I began to get twinges in the right knee, now I do! And because my fingers and thumb are gradually getting stiffer and hurt, I gave up knitting thinking this was the cause, My physio advised me to resume knitting or crochet because it would help keep them flexible,, He was right and now I have resumed knitting the flexibility is much improved and the pain is not evident as it was or getting worse

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