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Cortisone shot in heel.

Posted by Sue G. on 10/07/03 at 11:10 (132583)

Hi, I just had my first cortisone shot ever. It was in my left heel for plantar fasciitis. It hurt, a lot. haha. It's ok now, but dr told me to expect it to be sore or mildly painful later on today. How much pain are we talking about? I also found out I have a stress fracture on a tarsal in my right foot. Nothing is being done for that at the moment, just to try to stay off my feet as much as possible. What are the chances I will need to get another coritsone shot, and how much pain can I expect later today? Thanks.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

john h on 10/07/03 at 11:48 (132593)

Sue: I have had 4 cortisone shots over the years and I never had any further pain from the shot later in the day or the next day. Not much you can do for that stress fracture but stay off the foot. Sometimes depending on where it is they put you in some sort of stabalizing shoe. Wear good supportive shoes. I just recovered from a broke toe and that was sore for 6 weeks.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

John H on 10/07/03 at 14:53 (132623)

Speaking of shots I had my flu shot today. All you oldies get your flu shot and no it does not hurt.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Sue G. on 10/07/03 at 16:11 (132638)

Thanks for the responses. I had to leave work early because I was in so much pain. I called my Dr when I got home and he said the pain afterwards varies from person to person. He said it can last from one day to 3 days and can be quite bad. Nice of him to warn me beforehand. I took a Motrin 600 and iced it. It is feeling better but still throbbing. The foot with the stress fracture is ok for the moment. Thanks for your replies. =o)

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

francesc on 10/07/03 at 16:59 (132649)


I had a lot of pain, too, when I got my cortisone shot. My doctor told me to take 3 Advils after each meal. It helps deaden the pain. And once you get it in your system, it will feel better. It took me around 3 days to feel better.

I continued taking the Advil for about a week or so. It also helps keep any swelling down.

However, after about a week or so, I noticed that I did not have any pain in my foot in the mornings at all! :-) So, for me, it helped speed up my recovery.

Good luck,

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

John H on 10/07/03 at 18:53 (132672)

Sue: was your shot from the side or straight into the heel?

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Sue G. on 10/07/03 at 18:59 (132676)

It was dead center in the bottom of my heel.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Sue G. on 10/07/03 at 19:01 (132677)

Thanks frances. I took two Motrin 600's. (not together!) About 5 hours apart, but it's not helping much. I guess I gotta get more in my system. So, it's really worth it once all the pain goes away, huh?

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

David B on 10/07/03 at 20:04 (132697)

I had 3 coritzone shots in my right heel in a year and they all hurt like HECK! They were somewhat sore the day after but the heel pain was gone, then my heel pain was back and when I had my 4th shot it only relieved the pain for a few days. I then decided to have ESWT (shock wave treatment) done. My 1st ESWT did no good, I just had my 2nd ESWT done last week and so far no relief of pain. I am considering having ART (active release therapy) next.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Sue G. on 10/07/03 at 20:08 (132703)

Oh my goodness, 3 shots, and shock wave therapy and now maybe surgery? Yikes! How long have you been dealing with the pain? How long did you wait to get treatment? My dr confided in me since I waited so long, I may not react well to conserative treatment. I have been walking on this pain for over 3 years. My insurance doesn't have very good coverage for foot problems, so I hesitated going. But the pain finally got to me, and I bit the bullet and went. Best of luck to you and thank you for your post.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

John H on 10/07/03 at 23:16 (132742)

David I think many Doctors say that three in one year is about the max of cortisone shots. You realize this may weaken the fascia and could lead to a ruptured fascia.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

John H on 10/07/03 at 23:20 (132744)

Yikes Sue! I think most of us receive our shots from the side. That is not to say that from the side is best or even appropriate for your PF but I would imagine that would hurt and may cause pain for a few days. I think you are one of the few I have seen post who had the shot straight in from the bottom.

Re: I'm jumping in here kinda late...but....

Necee on 10/08/03 at 01:39 (132753)

I had a Cortizone shot in the side of my heel 2 years ago. My Dr gave me a shot first to deaden the area.....thank goodness!! When he gave me the actual Cortizone shot I didn't feel a thing.
I've had untrasound therapy, but mostly I started an aggressive treatment of icing, resting, and wearing good support shoes.
It takes time Sue, this PF isn't going to go away over night, some of us here have been hurting for weeks, months, even years, but please don't let that discourage you. I'm much better now, I do have bouts where my feet get sore and tired, but once I rest them, I'm ok.
The best advice I can give you is.....do not have surgery yet, please give it time. If you have surgery, your foot will never be the same. I've talked to many people who have had it and they regret it to this day.
I bought myself some Birks, and I can truly say.....that was the begining of my healing.
All the best to you, and please keep in touch.


Re: I'm jumping in here kinda late...but....

David B on 10/08/03 at 02:45 (132755)

Im can not pin point when the pain actually started cause foot pain has been with me in some sort of fashion for many, many years but the last 2 yrs has been the worse. My doctor said I could have a coritzone shot once ever 4 months, my 4th shot was after 1 1/2 yrs I was in so much pain I could barely walk. I read on here last nite about a different stretching method where you pull your toes towards you and feel where the muscle stetches and rub it. I tried that this morning and I must say it didn't hurt as bad when I got out of bed. So I think A.R.T. might help. I bought a pair of $250 Birkenstocks and I know other people that this fixed there problem, myself it did not help whatsoever. Different things help different people. I know some people that had one coritzone shot and never had anymore pain also. I guess Im not that lucky. I will try everything I can to fix PF before surgery, I have heard too many bad things about surgery.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

cindy on 10/10/03 at 12:05 (133430)

i have had shots in both feet for about 6 months one a week, about 10 years finally surgery was the best roue and i had one spur removed... now 10 years later i have a spur in the other foot that goes from my heel to almost my toes... causing my foot to curl upward and fracturing the toe bones... i am undergoing the shots and pt once again but this time in only one foot... the shots do hurt like a wasp stinging about 3-4 times... but after a day or three it feels bearable... i am looking for stretches to do but think with the length of this thing it will be surgery again...
this site is awesome...
surgery wasn't bad at all and man the pain is like poof gone right after...
my g/f had a sour but she tore it right off and i am still trying to figure that one out... i told her to had me the rubber mallet and i would smash mine.. instead she made the doc appt : )

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

cindy on 10/10/03 at 12:08 (133431)

that might be that 4 in one year is bad.. but like i said i had one in each foot every week for 6 months before surgery... but let me tell you why.. i am one of those folks that can't NSAID'S so i have no choice but taking the needle... the worse shot i ever got was an acid type shot to get rid of scar tissue... that my friends HURT...

Re: I'm jumping in here kinda late...but....

cindy on 10/10/03 at 12:13 (133432)

i disagree.. my right foot is great and i am active... before my first pf i coached softball for 3 years then continued to coach until i couldn't walk... after surgery( which was 10 years ago)... i went back to coaching and finally to playing again... during the second year of me playing softball... i ripped my hamstring and blew out my extension mech in my left knee...after 3 and 1/2 years of pain, i went to the doc and he said i had a choice major surgery or a wheel chair... the knee muscles have been reconstructed but nothing can be done about my hamstring because of the reconstruction of the front muscles... so i can no longer play softball.. but am looking forward to coaching again... also... with this said... i would have my left spur removed...

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

john h on 10/10/03 at 13:16 (133439)

Cindy: Here are a few comments from research on cortisone. This is not just in relationship to the foot but knee,etc:

1. How many injections are needed? 'In spite of surrounding folklore, there is no specific limit to the number of cortisone shots that can be given. There is a limit to the amount of cortisone that can be given in one dose, even if injected into several areas of the body; this varies depending on the size and physical condition of the person.'

2. How is cortisone effective? 'Cortisone is useful in suppressing inflamation in the short term, and in the long term, dissolving scar tissue, stabalizing the body's defense, speeding the healing process, and is very effective in causing certain cyst to disappear. It does howeve, have a weaking effect on tendons (fascia) if injected directly into them. It can also soften cartlidge when injected into a joint.'

3. Complications/Risk: 'Over the past few years, doctors have noted many disadvantages to cortisone shots. Cortisone can cause progressive degeneration in the knee by destroying aticular cartlidge and tendons. It also lowers the body's resistance to infection and may cause cataracts and stomach ulceration. Physicians have become judicious about their distribution of cortisone to deaden knee pain.' This item numer 3 is more in reference to knee injection but the tendon in the knee I would presume is much like the PF tendo.

It seem to me there are some wide differences among professionals on the use of cortisone. I do know that some of my friends who are on long term cortisone thearapy for arthritis develop the typcial rounded face and other symptoms associated with long term use. I would always ask my Doctor what is the risk of these shots if he were to recommend repeated cortisone shots as you need to arm yourself with knowledge as there are Doctors and there are Doctors.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Dale on 2/20/07 at 21:50 (223147)

Just got my first shot in the heel, Iam 45 and i have to say it was the worst pain i ever experienced. Never go thru that again. Had to tell her to stop, almost passed out, felt dizzy and almost thru up.
Must say tho the pain in my heel is gone. Thanks be to god. But would not go thry that again. NO WAY.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

john h on 2/21/07 at 09:44 (223181)

Dale: I have had four such shots and yes they were very painful. I have found that if you take a very very deep breath and exhale as he administers the shot it is much more tolerable. Remember it should only last several seconds. If it works it will be worth it. If it does not then you can cross that off your list. Did he administer the shot from the side or from the bottom.
All of mine were from the bottom. I think that most of the Podiatrist include a small amount of pain killer of some sort along with the cortisone but that did not stop the pain. Good luck.

John H (Little Rock

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

john h on 2/21/07 at 09:54 (223183)

Dale: Correction: all of my shots were from the SIDE>

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

PDawson on 9/28/07 at 21:23 (236894)

I have had 3 shots on the side of my left heel for plantars fasciitis. My concern is today after talking to a friend, he said cortisone stays in your body. Is this true? Also heard that cortizone helps to break down cartledge and bad for stomach.

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Lou on 10/01/07 at 23:27 (237039)

I WILL NEVER EVER EVER GET A SHOT AGAIN. I went to the podiatrist today complaining of a 'slight' pull near my heal when I went running. The pulling came and went about once a week. He immediately said he was giving me a cortisone shot to help aid in the healing....He was so 'no big deal' about it that I thought...'oh, that must be no biggie'. He did not explain that I could possible be in immense pain once the local wore off in a few hours. He knew that I was a medical rep, and was dressed in businees attire and heals, ready to spend the next 8 hours in the field....by 5PM I was totally crippled. I could not put any pressure on my foot. The pain was so bad, I threw up my dinner. I have been hopping around on one foot all evening. I took 1/2 of a pain killer to go to sleep, and it's not working. I got up to check out some message boards since I am so freaked out about this pain. Glad I found you guys. I suppose everyone reacts differently. At 38 yrs old (and I always thought I was pretty tough), I must say this is the worst pain that I have ever experienced. What really upset me was that my doc did not set the correct expectation of pain, and with not doing do, gave me no choice in whether I wanted the shot or not. He merely said not to exercise for 3 days...I couldn't even if I tried...I can't exercise on one foot! Never ever ever again!

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Rick B. on 10/15/07 at 22:49 (237842)

Hello 42 yrs old Male.
I just had my 1st (and hopefully only 1) shot in my left heel at 8:00AM. I got it from the bottom. I knew it was going to hurt, I investigated it for weeks waiting for my appointment. The burning was unreal. It still hurt when I got up to leave and was heading out the door limping, but by the time I got to the car I didn't have to limp anymore, and the pain was gone. I knew this was just a temp thing though, because he told me that it would take 9 hours for some of the numbing to wear off, and the 72 hours for it to completely wear off, after that I'm told I 'should be' pain free. By the time 5:00pm rolled around I could not walk anymore. I started icing it and taking the MOtrin 800mgm I got a prescritption for. (1, 3X a day). I'm nervous because we are leaving for Disney World in 4 days, and I want to be pain free for all the walking. If anybody has had this, will it be better in 3 days?????

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Mikki on 10/26/07 at 19:53 (238482)

I just had my second shot in my left heel. I don't mind theshot as long as it works. Right now my heel is sore .I;m going back 11/14 for another super duper shot he calls it so I can dance at my son's wedding. Hope it works, I sleep with a leg brace for the heel had orthotics made. and took anti inflammatory prescription and still I have no relief. I can't shop or even walk far because it hurts so much. Forget about getting out of bed in the am. I even do exercises . I really can't take it I only want to be able to walk and that's what I told my Dr.Hopefully the pain from this shot goes away. I got it at 4pm

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Scott R on 9/02/08 at 22:20 (249805)

I just had my first shots in both heels (inside the side of the heels) just a little discomfort when the medicine is going in only for about 10 seconds after spraying the Ethyl Chloride to freeze the area of the shot first. Now this is important: My doctor told me my feet look like I've been mistreating them for some time now because I have been working at the Plant at the Corpus Christi Post office where we have HARD CONCRETE FLOORS. As I see it as one grows older you lose alot of the FAT between the skin on the bottom of the foot and the Fiberous Tissue that connects from your heels to your toes, this fiberous tissue is solely so you don't walk on the bones of your feet and therefore as I understand it, it goes FLOOR-SKIN-FAT-FIBEROUS TISSUE-BONES OF THE FOOT. That is how the Fiberous Tissue becomes inflammed. My feet are hurting pretty good right now and it is 1015pm, I had the shots at 350pm. She could actually feel the heel spurs and said my right foot was worse than the left and I knew that already from walking. I might try to get some Orthotic shoes made for me if this doesn't work..it worked for someone else there and I have been running into soooo many people there that have had the injections and they swear by them, BUT it really depends on how bad your feet are in the first place. I am in belief that if you catch it soon enough then you might be able to be normal again, I might not have done that one time will tell..Godbless //Scott

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Markd on 9/27/08 at 03:00 (250518)

Just have your Doc cut the ligament.....tennis players blow theirs out all the time ...it hurts like hell for awhile....but they never get another spur..BTW it's not the spur that makes it hurt....it's the swelling from the ligament...I had my first cortisone inj. directly into the heel...next day was still sore.....day after felt much better....I do the calf stretches in the morning right out of bed.....they help....before the injections...the pain was so bad....I had to hop on one foot in the morning

Re: Cortisone shot in heel.

Bob on 1/30/09 at 16:22 (254591)

I have what was diagnosed by one doc as PF 16 months ago, both feet, but right foot far worse. I was give a cortizone shot, hurt like heck, next morning could hardly walk, but by the end of the day I was feeling good. I also was sold some arch supports. Felt like a new man for three months but was off work. A week after returning to work, my feet were hurting again. I needed to go out into the bush for a few weeks and asked my doc for another shot which he gave me, along with $400 custom orthotics. The shots didn't work at all this time and about 6 weeks later I had to go out again and got shots again. These also did no good at all at $200/foot, and the orthotics weren't doing any good. Went to another foot surgeon who didn't like my orthotics and sold me heel pads for $85, and said if this didn't work I need physical therapy. Pads didn't work and went to physical therapy. I was told that I needed different store bought $50 arch supports and new athletis shoes at $150. The shoes, supports and physical therapy didn't work. I was told then by this doctor that my only aternative was surgery. But my first doc seemed to think the surgery was no big deal and a 'permanent fix'. This guy said 1 month on crutches and 90 days before I might be starting back to normal activities. And he said there was only a 75% success rate. NOT GOOD!!! So, off to a third foot surgeon who tells me that I may have had PF to start, I no longer had it but had heal bruises because I could put my finger right at a painful spot on the bottom and had no pain on the side. He also told me that cortizone shots destroy your foot pad fat and it becomes atrified. He made me try cutting holes in the heals of my shoe insoles and had me buy a thing called a heal cup. None of this worked either!!! I have also tried the Stretches, icing, Strausberg sock,ultra sound,,, nothing helps and now I am not totally sure what my problem is. I am starting to have hip problem that I think are related to walking funny because of my feet, I am real frustrated, I am 55 and have a lot of walking to do. So here I am at this web site searching for something, anything. By the way, there is some other kind of micro surgery I think they use RF. None of the docs in this town seem to know much about it. I heard of someone having it done and there was almost no recovery time, it was minimillay evasive, and worked. Good luck!