Foot Health

What happens if cortisone injection doesn’t work?

If a cortisone injection doesn’t provide adequate relief for hallux rigidus, it suggests that the condition may be at a more advanced stage or that the inflammation is not the primary cause of the symptoms. When this occurs, a few different pathways can be considered.

Trying Alternative Non-surgical Treatments

If a cortisone injection doesn’t work, alternative non-surgical treatments can be explored. For instance, physical therapy techniques focusing on improving the foot and toe mobility or strengthening exercises could be beneficial. Additionally, modifications to footwear or the use of orthotic devices might provide symptom relief.

Sometimes, a different type of injection, such as a hyaluronic acid injection, can be considered. Hyaluronic acid can enhance joint lubrication, possibly reducing pain and improving joint function. However, these injections are typically less effective than cortisone and are often reserved for cases where cortisone is not an option or has proven ineffective.

Considering Surgical Intervention

If non-surgical interventions, including cortisone injections, do not provide sufficient relief, surgical options may need to be considered. The choice of surgical procedure would depend on the severity of the condition, patient’s age, activity level, and overall health.

Common surgical procedures include a cheilectomy (removal of bone spurs and part of the foot bone), arthrodesis (joint fusion), or joint replacement. These procedures aim to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance the patient’s quality of life.

Close Monitoring and Further Evaluation

If cortisone injections do not provide relief, it’s important to continue monitoring the condition closely and communicate with your healthcare provider about the ongoing symptoms. Further evaluation, possibly including more advanced imaging studies, may be necessary to better understand the extent of the disease and guide treatment decisions.

In conclusion, when a cortisone injection doesn’t alleviate symptoms, alternative treatments should be explored. Ultimately, a combination of therapies might be necessary to manage hallux rigidus effectively. If pain persists or if mobility continues to be significantly impacted, surgical intervention may be considered. As always, these decisions should be made in close consultation with a healthcare provider.