Advice about steroid injections in other joints after total knee replacements.


Hi I have osteoarthritis in both knees (severely, both need replacing) and in one shoulder and both thumbs. I have steroid injections in both knees and one shoulder every three months (last ones were in November 21).

I have been told I can have the first knee replaced in March 22. I know I can’t have steroid injections prior to surgery due to risks of infection. But, as I have severe pain in the other knee too I wonder after the new knee is fitted ‘when’ I can have the injections in the other knee and my shoulder? I can only find information/research on pre op injection advice and I don’t want steroid injections in the new knee post surgery. Would anyone be able to advise me please? I can’t get through to the surgeon to ask.


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 991

    Hi @JackyT and welcome to the online community,

    You have osteoarthritis in both knees and in one shoulder and both thumbs and you’re due for a knee replacement in March 2022. You want to find out when you can start having steroid injections again.

    Ive checked the Versus Arthritis website and it seems that you are advised to avoid steroid injections if you are having an operation as they can affect your natural hormone production. The effect can last up to 12 months ( see the section on ‘ carrying a steroid card’) but it doesn’t clarify whether injections after the operation will have the same effect. It would be best to persevere in trying to talk to your consultant about it, although as you say, this can be difficult.

    Do have a look round the forum and post any other questions you may have - members have a wide range of experience and are very friendly and supportive.

    Best wishes,

    Anna ( Mod)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • helpline_team

    Hi JackT,

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am sorry to hear that you have Osteoarthritis (OA) in several area’s and that it is causing you so much pain, really pleased to hear that you will soon be having your first knee replacement, I really hope the operation goes well for you.

    The information that I have on steroids is that your doctor will probably recommend you don’t have more than three steroid injections into the same part of the body within a year. Unfortunately I am unable to advice when you would be able to have a steroid injection into your other knee after your operation as this would be to your doctors decision, also you would be going through a recovery period from your operation so I wouldn’t be able to say if you could have a steroid injection during that time, I know that you have already tried to contact your doctor and I am sorry to hear that you are struggling to get through, but we would suggest that you would need to speak to them.

    Alternatively, can I suggest you could also speak to your doctor about Capsaicin cream for the pain in your other knee, it is a drug-free, effective, and very well-tolerated painkiller, only available on prescription for osteoarthritis. Capsaicin is a complementary medicine extracted from the pepper plant (capsicum), which works mainly by reducing a pain transmitter in the nerves. You may wish to discuss whether this may be a suitable alternative treatment.

    If at any point it would help you to talk things through informally and in confidence to one of our Helpline advisors about how you are feeling you are more than welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • JackyT
    JackyT Member Posts: 3

    Thank you both for the kind words and advice. It is greatly appreciated