Steroid Injections for Foot Pain


What is a steroid injection?

A steroid injection is an injection of anti-inflammatory corticosteroid and is used to treat a variety of conditions.

Your foot and ankle are composed of numerous bones, ligaments and muscles. The ligaments (fibrous connective tissue) connect bones and hold joints together. Foot and ankle joints and surrounding structures can deteriorate, become injured, or become inflamed (swollen), resulting in pain.

Injections of corticosteroids can be used to treat painful, swollen joints and reduce inflammation and swelling at the injection site.

How are steroid injections administered?

They are only administered by medical professionals. Podiatrists qualified to inject steroids can administer them in joints and soft tissues of the foot and ankle to treat various inflammatory and degenerative conditions.

What kind of conditions are treated with steroid injections?

In podiatry, they are used to treat arthritic painful joints, chronic plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendinopathy, Morton’s neuroma, Sinus tarsi syndrome and Tarsal Tunnel syndrome.

If you are suffering with foot pain, please contact us for advice. Our Podiatrists can tell you more about your treatment options, help you return to comfort quickly and let you get on with more important things in life.

    Someone will get back to you within our normal working hours. If urgent simply call 01565 655840

    If you are suffering why not download our leaflet on heel pain or get in touch if you have another type of pain that you think might benefit from our treatments or you would like further information about: 
    Heel Pain

    Back to steroid injections…..

    Is it painful?

    A steroid injection does cause a certain amount of pain at the time but we use local anaesthetic just prior to injecting the steroid which dilutes the steroid to spread it more evenly in the area injected and importantly relieves any post operative pain.

    The local anaesthetic injection provides pain relief for a few hours post operatively, whereas the injected steroids may take between 48 hours and two weeks to take effect. Remember this information when considering the advantages of a foot or ankle injection.

    After your injection you will need a lift home as driving with an anaesthetised foot will invalidate your insurance.  You will need to rest for 48 hours post operatively and depending upon the site injected you may need to wear a special boot or avoid exercise for 2 weeks.

    What are the benefits of a steroid injection?

    They can aid your physician in planning the long-term treatment of your condition and delay the need for surgery.

    They can help us determine which structure of your foot and ankle is causing your pain. They are especially helpful when the source of your pain is unclear.

    Steroid injections can be incredibly helpful in reducing symptoms, improving your ability to function and delaying the need for surgery.

    Who is eligible for steroid injections?

    Most individuals can receive steroid injections. However, they may not be appropriate in the following cases:

    • If you have diabetes and your blood glucose level is not well controlled a steroid injection is not advised but just having diabetes does not preclude you from having a steroid injection. All people with diabetes are advised to monitor their blood glucose levels more frequently in the 24-48 hours following an injection of steroids, as this can affect blood sugar levels.
    • If you have recently received a steroid injection, you should wait at least six weeks before having another.
    • If you have received three steroid injections within the past year: we typically recommend no more than three injections in the same area within a 12-month period.
    • If you have previously experienced an allergic reaction to steroids.
    • If you have a current infection (including eye infection)
    • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • If you have had or plan to have flu or covid vaccinations. We ask that you do not have your vaccination 2 weeks prior to or post injection
    • If you are have a clotting disorder or are taking anticoagulant medicines further information or blood tests may be required before we can determine if you are suitable for injection.

    What are the risks associated with a steroid injection?

    There are some risks associated with steroid injections but these are very monitor compared to longterm steroid use. They will be considered discussed in detail with any patients looking to have a steroid injection at the clinic.