Cortisone injections are extremely safe, but they do still have potential problems. If you are concerned about having a cortisone shot, talk with your doctor. While cortisone is a powerful treatment for many orthopedic conditions, there are usually other options that can also be tried. Many doctors will offer an injection as they are quick, easy, and most often effective. However, your doctor should also be able to offer other treatments for inflammation that may also be effective for those that cannot have, or don't want, a cortisone injection.
Thankfully, medical advancements have resulted in minimally invasive procedures for many back problems. Spinal stenosis, for example, can be treated using minimally invasive laminectomy, where parts of the vertebra are removed to relieve pressure on the nerves. “Some patients suffering from herniated disc can also be treated through disc nucleoplasty,” Dr Tow explains, “where a special radio-frequency ablation needle is used to decrease the internal pressure in the disc, decreasing the impingement on the nerves and spinal cord.” In the case of disc nucleoplasty, it can even be just as fast as the epidural injection.