How painful is the cortisone jab to the knuckle. I’m frightened of it

Bendigo123 Member Posts: 9
edited 23. Apr 2021, 15:00 in Living with arthritis

You ask how painful is the cortisone jab?and that you area bit fearful of the injection.

Here is a link that may help

Steroid Injections | Side-effects, uses, time to work (

It would be helpful if you told us your arthritis story so the advice given will be accurate.

Please keep in touch and tell us how you get on.The forums are very friendly and everyone understands how you feel as we all have Arthritis of some kind,it often helps to share with others,so give it a go and start chatting to others.

All the best Christine.


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,710

    i had this in my hip, and on that occasion they injected a local anaesthetic first. Not sure if they do that for hands though,

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    Please don't be scared. I have them in knee- needle in knee goes deep between bones and all you feel is a little prick then the local anaesthetic part of the jab kicks in and its blessed instant relief - the local wears off after an hour or two and then it might ache a little until the steroid can do its thing but its not a painful thing.

    I am not a brave person and really would not have had 4 knee injections if it was bad! Lots and lots of people have repeated steroid injections in all manner of joints and believe me if it hurt a lot no one would have more then one. : )

  • Thanks for the encouragement but neither of you have had this jab in the knuckle.

    Good to know that yours wasn’t too bad though!

  • And we all know that women don’t feel pain!😊

  • Sophie98
    Sophie98 Member Posts: 29

    I've had one in my knuckle before and a couple in the middle finger joints and whilst it was painful, it wasn't unbearable and definitely worth the benefits. Hope this helps!

  • Thanks Sophie.

  • Can I ask you if your doctor had the high tech to guide the needle or did he do it ‘ blind’ ?

  • Sophie98
    Sophie98 Member Posts: 29

    My consultant just feels for the edge of the joint and proceeds that way as the joints are near the surface

  • Thanks


  • pinkteapot
    pinkteapot Member Posts: 48
    edited 27. Apr 2021, 09:44

    I've had multiple cortisone jabs into knuckles, finger joints, and ball-of-foot (base of toe) joints. The doctor laughs at me because I get VERY excited when he says he's going to do one... Yes, it hurts. Not going to lie, they're pushing lots of fluid into a small and already packed-with-inflammation space. But it's 10-20 seconds of pain and pressure that brings me several months of complete relief from flares that are constantly painful. Absolutely, 100% worth it. 😃

    I do the same as I do with any injections, blood tests, etc - dig my nails into my palm on the other hand (if you can) as a distraction. And just breathe through it.

    One thing I don't understand is why they inject a single solution containing both local anaesthetic and the cortisone... Last time, I had two jabs in the same finger for the first time ever - first in the knuckle then second at the next joint up. The local anaesthetic from the first jab had obviously kicked in by the time they did the second one a minute or so later, so I barely felt the second one.

    Just one tip - hospital should have told you - you're not allowed to drive afterwards. Firstly, because your hand will be partly numb and will probably start throbbing distractedly on the way home. Secondly, because you're meant to rest the joint as much as possible for 24 hours so you keep the cortisone in the joint where it's been placed. I did once drive home because I didn't expect them to do a jab there and then so hadn't taken my hubby, but the doctor said he had to pretend I hadn't told him that. 😂 They'd jabbed my left hand so I changed gear as little as possible - my poor car did most of the journey in 3rd regardless of my speed. Not recommended. 🙈

  • Thanks....I think!

  • pinkteapot
    pinkteapot Member Posts: 48
    edited 27. Apr 2021, 09:52

    Honestly, these injections do hurt but it's not THAT bad - and I bet it won't be as bad as you're expecting. It's so brief anyway. You have the jab itself, then 24 hours of annoying but not too bad throbbing (bit like when a dental anaesthetic wears off), then for months you'll be out of whatever pain you've been in. Seriously worth it. And I am a HUGE wimp about painful procedures. 😀

  • I think you’re right. I’m just going to have get over fear of cowardice😊