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How to Treat a Rotator Cuff Injury with Cortisone

author image Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson is a researcher and journalist based in Indianapolis with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. She earned her B.S. in animal science from Purdue University and her Master of Public Affairs in public management from Indiana University. Simpson also works as a massage therapist and equine sports massage therapist.
How to Treat a Rotator Cuff Injury with Cortisone
A woman is receiving an injection in her shoulder. Photo Credit: Remains/iStock/Getty Images

Your doctor might choose to administer cortisone injections if you have a rotator cuff injury. It is not generally recommended that a person have repeated cortisone injections. According to Drs. Matsen and Warme, a person should not receive more than four injections total and no more than two close together. Cortisone tends to weaken the muscles of your shoulder and rotator cuff, though one or two injections might be extremely helpful to relieve pain and inflammation. You must make an appointment with your doctor to receive these injections.

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Step 1

Make an appointment with your doctor, and sit or stand in a position that will make it easy for him to inject the cortisone directly into the rotator cuff area. The shot must be administered right into the correct place, so proper placement is crucial. The doctor will carefully swab the injection site with betadine or iodine and allow it to dry before administering the shot.

Step 2

The cortisone, mixed with a local anesthetic, will be injected into your rotator cuff at the site of the injury. The local anesthetic lessens the pain that might be caused by receiving a large dose of medicine directly into an already painful area. The doctor will wipe off excess iodine with a clean, sterile swab and cover the injection site with a small bandage.

Step 3

Avoid lifting any weight more than 5 lbs. for 24 to 48 hours after the injection. This will keep the cortisone inside the rotator cuff where it can do its work. Stressing the joint might cause the cortisone to leak away, and it will do little good to heal the rotator cuff injury.

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