how long to wait for knee surgery after cortisone shot

How Long to wait For Knee Surgery After Cortisone Shot?

If you’re considering knee surgery after receiving a cortisone shot, it’s essential to understand the optimal waiting period between the injection and the surgical procedure. Cortisone shots, also known as corticosteroid injections! This is commonly used to relieve pain and inflammation in the knee joint. However, the timing for knee surgery following a cortisone shot can vary based on several factors. This article will provide how long to wait for knee surgery after cortisone shot. By understanding the recommended waiting period and considering individual circumstances, you can make informed decisions to ensure a successful surgical outcome and maximize the benefits of both interventions.

How long to wait for knee surgery after cortisone shot?

If you just got a cortisone shot for knee pain and are now considering knee surgery, you may wonder how long you should wait between the two. Cortisone injections are often used to treat knee pain and inflammation. But it’s important to determine the right time to wait before surgery to ensure the best results. If you know about these things, you can make the right decisions. The right decisions will help your surgery go well and improve the health of your knee as a whole.

Several factors influence the waiting period for knee surgery after a cortisone shot. Here are those-

Cortisone Injection Response

Cortisone shots can work differently for different people. Some people may feel pain relief right away, while others may need more time for the medicine to work properly. It’s important to see how the cortisone shot makes you feel before treatment.

Duration of Pain Relief

Most of the time, cortisone shots give brief pain relief that can last for weeks or months. Before having knee surgery, it’s best to wait until the effects of the shot start to wear off. This waiting period lets the knee’s health be more accurately assessed and ensures surgery is done at the best time.

What are the Expert Recommendations about waiting for knee surgery after cortisone shot?

Though there is no set amount of time that everyone must wait, doctors usually suggest waiting at least two weeks after getting a cortisone shot before having knee surgery. This waiting time gives the corticosteroid medicine a chance to work and may help temporarily with pain and inflammation. 

However, the actual time will depend on your situation, the severity of your knee problem, and what your doctor prescribes. Talk to an orthopaedic surgeon or a healthcare provider to determine how long you should wait after knee surgery.

During waiting, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know if your symptoms or pain change. They will monitor your health and tell you when knee surgery is a good idea.

How long after steroid injection can I have back surgery?

The timing for having back surgery after a steroid injection can vary based on individual circumstances and the specific condition being treated. It is important to consult with your healthcare professional or spine specialist for personalized advice based on your medical history and the details of your condition.

In rare circumstances, a steroid injection may be given as a temporary therapy to reduce pain and inflammation before surgery is considered. Surgery may not be required if the injection significantly relieves and improves your symptoms.

If surgery is still required following a steroid injection, the timing will be determined by several factors, including the type of steroid used, the dose delivered, and your response to the injection. 

It is usually advised to wait several weeks to a few months after a steroid injection before considering back surgery. This time allows the steroid to take full effect and for any potential side effects or difficulties to disappear.

Your healthcare provider should decide to proceed with surgery following a steroid injection. They will assess your unique condition, the response to the injection, and any potential risks or issues that may arise from the surgery. 

Based on your specific circumstances, they can give you the most accurate and up-to-date information and advise you on the best time for your back surgery.

Can you have arthroscopic surgery after a cortisone injection?

Cortisone shots and arthroscopy may or may not work well together, depending on your specific situation and your doctor’s advice. In some cases, cortisone shots may eliminate the need for surgery, but surgery may still be needed in other cases. It’s important to talk to your doctor to get personalized help and direction. There have some factors to performing arthroscopic surgery after a cortisone shot. Here are those-

The Severity of the Condition

The severity of the joint problem being treated is a major factor in deciding whether or not surgery is needed. Mild to mild cases may do well with cortisone injections, so surgery may be unnecessary. But serious or long-lasting conditions might still need surgery even after a cortisone injection.

Response to Cortisone Injection

Each person reacts to cortisone shots differently. Surgery may not be needed if the treatment helps with the pain, reduces inflammation, and makes the joint work better. Regular check-ups with your doctor or nurse will help rate how well the injection works and decide if surgery is necessary.


When a cortisone shot is given, and surgery is done is an important thing to think about. Most of the time, you should wait a few weeks to a few months after a cortisone shot before having surgery. This gives the Cortisone enough time to work and for any possible side effects or problems to go away.

How long do you have to wait between cortisone shots?

The timing between cortisone shots, also known as corticosteroid injections, can vary depending on several factors, including the specific condition being treated, the severity of symptoms, and your healthcare professional’s recommendations. It’s important to consult your doctor for personalized advice based on your circumstances. That being said, here are some general guidelines:

Joint Injections

For joint-related conditions such as arthritis or bursitis, the frequency of cortisone shots can range from a few weeks to several months apart. In some cases, a single injection may provide long-lasting relief; in others, a series of injections may be necessary.

Tendon Injections

The timing between cortisone shots can be more variable when treating conditions such as tendonitis or tendinopathy. It may range from several weeks to several months, depending on the response to the previous injection and the healing process of the tendon.

Epidural Injections

Epidural cortisone injections are commonly used to treat herniated discs or spinal stenosis. The timing between these injections is typically longer, with intervals ranging from several months to a year or more. The aim is to give the body sufficient time to respond to the injection and for symptoms to subside before considering additional injections.


Why must you wait three months after a cortisone shot before surgery?

The waiting period of three months after a cortisone shot before surgery is not a strict rule that applies to all situations. The specific duration depends on various factors, including the type of condition being treated and your healthcare professional’s recommendations. Waiting for a few months can allow Cortisone to have its full effect, reduce inflammation, and provide a clearer understanding of the underlying condition. It also allows time for the body to heal and recover from any potential side effects or complications associated with the injection. However, your healthcare professional should determine the exact waiting period based on your circumstances.

Why can’t you have surgery after Cortisone?

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay surgery after a cortisone injection for several reasons:

Cortisone’s temporary effect: Cortisone injections are often administered temporarily to relieve pain and inflammation. If the injection provides significant relief and reduces the need for surgery, postponing or reconsidering surgical intervention may be advisable.

Tissue healing and recovery: Cortisone injections can affect the tissues around the joint, including tendons and cartilage. Waiting for a certain period after the injection allows these tissues to heal and recover, minimizing the risk of complications during and after surgery.

Increased infection risk: Cortisone injections can suppress the immune response, potentially increasing the risk of postoperative infections. Delaying surgery after a cortisone injection helps reduce the risk of such infections.

Can you get a cortisone shot before knee surgery?

The decision to administer a cortisone shot before knee surgery depends on several factors, including the specific condition being treated, the severity of symptoms, and your healthcare professional’s recommendations. Sometimes, a cortisone shot may be given as a temporary measure to relieve pain and reduce inflammation before surgery. However, this decision should be made in consultation with your doctor, as they will consider factors such as the timing, potential benefits, and any potential risks or complications associated with receiving a cortisone shot before knee surgery.

Read More: How Much Does Steroid Injection Increase Settlement?


"Hasan", I am a physiotherapy Doctor. I have completed my B.S.c course (4 years) under Rajshahi University, Faculty of Medicine, Rajshahi. Currently I am working as a clinical physiotherapist at a renowned physiotherapy center and I am continuing my MPT (Master's of physiotherapy) degree at CRP, Savar.

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