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Discussion: cortisone shot

Posted Discussion
Nov. 13, 2017
41 posts
cortisone shot
Like many, I am starting to experience serious pain in my throwing shoulder. I can still swing the bat OK and I can throw, but with pain. Picking up an object and moving it away from my body is very painful. Has anyone tried the cortisone shot and if so, what were the results? I understand three shots is the maximum. I am hearing mixed results on the shots. What can you tell me about such an option? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Nov. 13, 2017
Men's 55
198 posts
I used Cortisone shots for pain in one of my feet and it worked great. It was actually amazing but they only really help with inflammation and not structural damage. It sounds like you may have rotator cuff or labrum issues which a shot would likely not help. I'm not a doctor nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express so my opinion isn't worth much.
Nov. 13, 2017
94 posts
I've had a handful of them on various body parts. They do work as long as you rest a couple days after receiving one. Be careful though because it can make things brittle if you have more than one in the same area. I had two sets of shots for Plantar in a 6 month period. The 2nd set brought needed pain relief but while rounding third base I snapped/ripped one right in the area of the shot. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because I was forced to stay off it an rest for many months.
As noted by the guy above me it will not help with structural damage but I assume your Dr would not give cortisone as an option for a "cure" if he felt it was.
Nov. 13, 2017
298 posts
For what it is worth, here is what my surgeon told me.
“If you use your shoulder a lot at work lifting etc, i will give you the shots until we can dete mine what the problem is. Cortisone only eliminate the pain and does not correct the problem,”
How good is my doctor?
He was recommended to me by the biggest malpractice lawyer in the state, who told me who sues the quacks and this is the doctor he used on his shoulder.
It may not be a cuff problem. I had one tendon completely severed and another hanging by a thread. That is what over 3,000 softball games do to you.
Had an operation (2 hour) and six month therapy. Everything is fine now and back swinging the bat with no pain (left shoulder).
The bottom line is the cortisone shots will eliminate the pain but not the cause. Suggest you see a doctor and get his opinion..make sure it is an orthopedic surgeon.
Hope this helps.

Nov. 13, 2017
41 posts
I have indeed talked to several players who have had the shot in their shoulders and they eventually had to have the rotator cuff surgery. So, I am hoping it will work for me for a few years. I am 75 and may not play but 3-4 more years, so a short term fix that does not require surgery is what I am seeking.
Nov. 13, 2017
55 posts
Get to a good sports oriented orthopedic surgeon. You play with this condition,you might end up with what is called frozen shoulder. You won’t be able to brush your teeth without pain,let alone play softball. Cortisone only masks the problem. You might be able to get by with cortisone and PT. get to a good doctor.
Nov. 13, 2017
217 posts
phantomf4j: I am NOT a dr but will be getting my 5th shoulder surgery at the end of this month (2 left, 3rd one on my right). I believe that a cortizone shot is as everyone says, will help a little while, maybe a few months but DEF not a few years as you finish out your career. I have had torn rotator cuff and torn labrum in right shoulder, different type pain with each. As Mannjo stated, get a good sports surgeon, mine only does shoulders, elbows and knees. They will recommend an MRI and diagnose the actual issue. If it is a rotator cuff, you can strengthen the muscles around it with PT if not a severe tear. If it is a severe tear, while you are ONLY 75, I would recommend getting the surgery even if you stop playing since quality of life means more to me. JMHO
Nov. 13, 2017
380 posts
When you can no longer sleep comfortably on the side with the shoulder pain it's time to have the surgery.
Nov. 13, 2017
Omar Khayyam
1329 posts
Reading about Ho's game experience got me to thinking. After more than 7000 games, I finally had to take care of a torn (not ruptured) rotator cuff in my NON-THROWING shoulder (and I'm a pitcher, as well). Pre-surgery, the doc gave me a cortisone shot and it worked like magic. I was able to put tension on my left arm within minutes and I, of course, thought who needs surgery? I did continue to play until the week of my surgery. A quick recovery (since the injury was slight and much of the disability was from a bone spur) and there I was, running as a rabbit in league games and tournaments within a couple of weeks, and then about four more weeks and back to the field. Had some physical therapy afterwards, and no problem since then.

But as others have said, see a doctor, specifically a sports orthopedic surgeon. You seem to have much more pain than I had and you will need an MRI to determine the causes. Cortisone is wonderful, but it is a stop-gap and you should have as few as possible. Most surgeons don't want to give more than two a year and for some players it only lasts a few weeks.
Nov. 13, 2017
1784 posts
Phantomf4j, Been dealing with a shoulder issue all year. Had it looked at, X-ray and an MRI. Two things they found. Slight labral tear and a paralabral cyst. The doc said no surgery necessary. The low grade labral tear will heal on its own and the cyst will eventually dissolve. He did state it could take months, even a year or over a year to heal. For whatever reasons shoulders are notorious slow healers!! I haven't played a game or thrown a ball since early September and have no plans to until next year. I'm hoping rest will let it heal, along with strengthening exercises. The PT I did helped! I still do the exercises on my own.
I did have a cortisone shot and it stopped the aches but as others have pointed out, it is not a cure, just a mask for the pain.
My advice is to have it looked at by a sports orthopaedic guy,
Nov. 13, 2017
61 posts
phantomf4j and others. I was on this forum earlier this year and let me relate my circumstances. I fell off my bicycle on march 5th and I instantly knew I was in trouble because I fell directly on the right shoulder. I thought I could rehab this injury on my own even though I could not lift my arm. After three month of only slight improvement, I got an MRI which indicated I tore two tendons completely from the bone. I`m 78 years old and decided not to have surgery because of the recovery time and considering I only have a few more years to play at best. I played this past season in a league and on a tournament team, but could only play first base. The past two and a half months I was in the gym three hours a day six days a week. The incremental improvements have been very small, but I was improving. I can now throw as well as I could in the recent past. now to conclude,,, cortisone will not repair torn tendons, but strengthening the other muscles in that shoulder have allowed me to throw again without surgery..
Nov. 15, 2017
Men's 65
1000 posts
I have injured everything playing ball. I have had cortisone shots and everything else. Some years back, I was surfing in CR and got slammed off the bottom on my non throwing shoulder. Played probably 2-3 seasons in heavy pain until I decided to have rotator surgery by an awesome ortho surgeon. Surgery was in mid November. Pretty serious procedure but I was playing ball again in April. Not everyone has the same experience or timeframe for healing. Don't rely on the cortisone. Go on this site and ask players in your area who they might recommend to go see.
Nov. 15, 2017
Men's 65
1119 posts
Prior to my knee replacement, I had a cortisone every 90 days so I could continue to somewhat play. For me they worked for about 6-8 weeks. I planned out my schedule a year in advance so I could get the shots 3 weeks ahead of a big tourney. After knee replacement, I forget to even take ibuprofen. Great results.

Now if we could find shots that I could get for my ego, I would be golden. I am pretty sure there would be a disagreement on whether the ego shot is needed to raise or lower.
Nov. 15, 2017
Fred S
Men's 85
297 posts
I found that the Shoulder Shield jersey helps my shoulder when I play.
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