First Time User? Enroll now.
Find Vaccine information, visitor restrictions, and additional resources
Home > Health Library > Arthritis: Shots for Knee Pain
Shots, or injections, for arthritis knee pain can help you cope with the pain and be more active.
The most common shot for arthritis knee pain is a steroid shot. It's also called a cortisone or corticosteroid shot. Arthritis pain is caused by inflamed tissue, and the steroid shot can help reduce the inflammation.
Steroids don't always work. But when they do, the pain relief can last for several days to a few months or longer.
Another kind of shot for osteoarthritis is a hyaluronic acid injection. This shot may give some people short-term pain relief, but most experts don't recommend getting this shot. Many studies show that it doesn't help.
A common side effect of shots for arthritis knee pain is swelling and pain the first day or two after the shot. It may help to apply ice at home. Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
Injecting anything into a joint or tendon has a very small risk of harm, including:
Because of these risks, most doctors limit their patients to just a few steroid shots in a year.
Although these problems rarely happen, your doctor may mention them to you before you get a shot into a joint.
Current as of:
November 16, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineJeffrey N. Katz MD, MPH - Rheumatology
Current as of: November 16, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Jeffrey N. Katz MD, MPH - Rheumatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.