Corticosteroid injections in the upper limb

Many hand conditions are helped with corticosteroid injections. There are a variety of preparations available and the type of injection probably does not make a significant difference. A high dose of the steroid however can have serious side effects. These include skin pigmentation or bleaching and dissolving the fat under the skin causing a depression.

My personal preference is to use a corticosteroid called Kenolog which commonly comes in 40mg ampoule vials. This dose would be suitable for injecting a knee or hip and therefore it is my practice to use much lower doses in the upper limb. Commonly I will inject between 4 and 10mg into the upper limb.

Common conditions that can be improved with corticosteroid injections include DeQuervain's tenosynovitis, trigger digit, base of thumb osteoarthritis, tennis elbow.

Click on each condition to go to the link.


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