Cortisone Shot in Hip

Cortisone injections into the hip joint can alleviate pain by decreasing inflammation and providing long-term pain relief. The hip joint is susceptible to arthritis, mechanical stress, and injury that can cause pain in the hip, buttock, leg, and low back.


There are two main functions of the hip injection. These include:

  • diagnosis
  • pain relief


The hip anatomy is comprised of a ball and socket joint at the pelvis, ligaments that encapsulate the joint, synovial fluid in the joint, and cartilage. These parts function to allow the joint to move without causing friction. The head of the femur fits into the pelvic socket forming the ball socket joint.


There are several causes of pain, in addition to mechanical stress and injury, including:

  • arthritis
  • bursitis
  • Gout
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendinitis

Cortisone injections are generally effective. Cortisone works by reducing swelling and inflammation and decreases pain as a result. It takes approximately 5 days for the full to be felt. Some people report immediate relief while others take longer depending on whether the pain is chronic, severity of inflammation, and individual response to the medication. If there is no relief within a few weeks, discuss this and options with the doctor.

The injection itself only takes a few minutes but the entire procedure can take 30-60 minutes

The process of administration is fairly simple. The doctor uses fluoroscopy (live x-ray) to observe the administration of the injection.

  • You will be positioned to facilitate the injection (on side or face down)
  • The injection site is cleansed and numbed
  • needle is inserted and medication injected
  • needle is removed and a band-aid is used to cover the site

The injection itself only takes a few minutes but the entire procedure can take 30-60 minutes.

 There are potential risks, as with any treatment. These risks include:

  • infection at the site
  • allergic reaction
  • whitening or thinning of the skin
  • tendon rupture
  • post-injection flare

There may be a slight increase in pain over several days as the numbing agent wears off and as cortisone takes effect. Simple measures may help relieve this discomfort.

  • Applying heat or cold packs to the injection site
  • continue regular medications; note- hold pain meds for the first 6-8 hours after injection
  • may be referred for physical therapy or manual therapy while numbing medicine is still effective.
  • May resume regular activities the day of the procedure; increase activities gradually

Injections should not be given more often than every 6 weeks and only 3-4 times per year because there is concern that repeated shots can cause cartilage to deteriorate.

Results depend on the reason for being treated. With the exception of a 48-hour temporary flare in pain and inflammation, overall pain and inflammation should continually decrease and can last several months.