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The Cortisone Controversy

Posted by Darlene on 6/01/04 at 13:53 (151718)

Hello all.
I would like to stir the podiatry pot a little with a discussion on the pros and cons of cortisone. Check out this information on the topic: http://www.holisticpodiatry.com/

I find that my orthopedic surgeon is very reluctant to do injections, whereas a number of podiatrists that I have visited use it as a first line of defense.

I understand from theinformation in the website that cortisone masks symptoms, but doesn't actually heal nerves. What do you think about homeopathic injections?

Re: The Cortisone Controversy

Dr. Z on 6/01/04 at 15:31 (151725)

I think that if your podiatrists has experience and success with these injections that go for it. Local steriod injections do have side effects and if not used correctly can cause many side effects including rupture. I didn't think it is the steroids that are the problem it is the physician using them.

Re: The Cortisone Controversy

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/02/04 at 14:38 (151807)


I use a modest amount of complementary medicine but Homeopathy is not something I beleive in. It is based on the principle that a substance that induces the same symptoms that a person has, has the potential to cure the person. Most unusual is that the lower the concentration of the substance, that is, the more it is diluted, the stronger the preparation is. That concept violates everything we know about chemistry and few of us are willing to throw Chemistry 101 out the window to consider this.

As far as 'cortisone' is concerned one must consider that there are good and bad uses of it. It is misused by pro athletes. It can be used to cover up pain. Most reasonable practitioners would use it as an adjunctive treatment. For example, an orthotic is only going to help someone if their gait is reasonably normal so if I can use a cortisone shot to get someone to stop limping for 2 to 3 weeks so that the orthotic has a chance to work, that is a valid and legitimate use.

Additionally, you are not specific in your comment becasue there is no drug called 'cortisone.' 'Cortisone' refers to a whole class of substances which are catabolic steroids. Some are short acting and are used to get rid of inflammation. Some are used to stop allergic reactions. There are types like triamcinolone acetonide which do little more than make scar tissue shrivel up and can be useful after certain surgeries.

Re: The Cortisone Controversy

Dorothy on 6/02/04 at 17:59 (151823)

If I may add one point that I realized while recently taking oral steroids for a skin problem: I actually made a little joke about taking steroids and old-style Soviet 'female' athletes, etc..... My joke came out of my own ignorance which has been corrected (on this one point). The kind of steroids that athletes are associated with in terms of 'abusing' them are the anabolic steroids - which are not the same thing as the ones Dr. Davis is describing. The corticosteroids such as the one that I was RXd have nothing to do with bodybuilding or athletic performance, per se.