Rheumatologist, West Hills

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Call Us: 818-598-0000

23101 Sherman Place, #507

West Hills, CA 91307 View Location

Corticosteroid injections


At times, diagnosis of a condition may involve aspiration of the joint and examination of the fluid under microscope. The characteristics of the fluid can help us differentiated between different types of arthritis. Most joints can also be injected with anesthetics and corticosteroids for rapid pain relief. Almost every joint can be injected to relieve pain. These are some of the joints that Dr. Firooz will aspirate and inject:

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Jaw (temporomandibular joint)
  • Lower back (facet joints)
  • Lower back (sacroiliac joints)


Injuries to tendons and bursae are very common and can result from sports or any repetitive movement of our daily lives. If conservative management does not resolve the pain, corticosteroid injection is very helpful for pain relief, and often, healing of the injury.

These are examples of such injuries:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist)
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome (ankle)
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis (thumb)
  • Subacromial bursa (shoulder)
  • Trochanteric bursa (hip)
  • Patellar bursa (knee)
  • Trigger finger (locked finger)

Dr. Firooz often sees patients who come to our West Hills office from nearby communities such as Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Encino, Northridge, Chatsworth, Reseda, Agora Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Van Nuys.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do corticosteroid injections compare to oral medications?
Because the medication is delivered directly to the joint, patients will typically experience alleviation of symptoms faster. A shot will affect the specific joint being treated, as opposed to providing generalized relief.

Is there a limit to how many shots I can have?
Corticosteroid shots can be highly effective in managing inflammation, however too many shots may have an adverse effect on cartilage in the joints. Dr. Firooz works closed with each patient to create an appropriate pain management plan.

How frequently can I have a corticosteroid injection?
The frequency of treatments will depend on the individual case. In general, shots should be spaced at least 6 weeks apart. It is not recommended that you have more than 4 treatments per year.

Are there any side effects associated with corticosteroid injections?
Corticosteroid injections are generally considered safe. However, like many therapeutic medications, corticosteroid injections have some potential side effects. Some uncommon risks include nerve irritation or damage, infection, thinning skin and tissue cartilage near the joint, and lightening of skin at the site.

Am I a good candidate for corticosteroid injections?
Most healthy individuals can benefit from corticosteroid treatment. However, individuals with a history of joint infections and certain allergies are not good candidates.

Can corticosteroid injections repair joint damage or cure arthritis?
No. Although corticosteroid injections can be highly effective in pain management and the alleviation of symptoms, they will not stop the condition from progressing. However, with the right care, many patients can improve their quality of life.