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How much does a cortisone injection cost?
May 28, 2022
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How much does a cortisone injection cost?

Cortisone injections - a shot containing a corticosteroid - can cost anywhere from $25-$300, depending on your health insurance status, the injection site, and what the injection is being used to treat. Medicare reports that the average national price for a corticosteroid injection costs about $146 at a hospital and $84 at an outpatient facility. The cost of a cortisone shot is usually covered by an insurance company if it is deemed medically necessary. However, underinsured or uninsured patients, as well as patients undergoing an elective cortisone shot, may experience greater out-of-pocket costs.

Sesame guarantees you the best price on cortisone injections by connecting you directly to health care providers for your medical needs. You pay one price upfront, without the hassle of deductibles and co-pays. Before scheduling an appointment for a cortisone shot, browse participating providers and services on Sesame to make the most informed and financially sound decision about your health care. If you are uninsured or underinsured, you’re likely to find that prices on Sesame are more affordable than what you’ll find anywhere else.

What is a cortisone shot?

Cortisone shots are essentially steroid injections used as pain relief and anti-inflammatory measures in different parts of the body.

A cortisone shot may be used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis (fluid-filled sacs called bursa that causes joint pain)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Frozen shoulder (stiffness in the shoulder joint)
  • Lower back pain
  • Cysts/ deep acne

Cortisone shots work by delivering the cortisone molecule to the affected area of the body through a thin needle. Cortisone is a man-made version of the cortisol hormone - a molecule produced by the adrenal glands to regulate the immune system. Your immune system uses inflammation as a method of protecting your body against injuries, pathogens, and other foreign substances that it believes to be harmful. This response sends pain signals to the brain and may irritate nerves in the musculoskeletal system. Cortisone controls the amount of hormones that cause inflammation in the body, improving mobility and reducing pain.

Cortisone injections, along with methods such as physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and weight management has been shown to effectively restore mobility loss and manage pain. Before scheduling a cortisone injection, talk to your primary care provider about the risks of the procedure, and whether or not this pain relief measure is right for you.

What factors influence the cost of a cortisone injection?

Cortisone injections are common medical procedures performed as anti-inflammatory and pain relief measures. Specific cortisone shot costs vary depending on your insurance status, the facility performing the injection, and the part of the body receiving the injection.

Insurance: In most cases and most states, health insurance will cover at least part of the cost of a cortisone shot. However, your co-pay cost may increase depending on the number of shots you need, and whether or not your insurance provider deems the injection as “medically necessary”. An injection used to treat disabling back pain, for instance, may be covered while an injection used for the treatment of severe acne may not be.

Sesame offers affordable and convenient cortisone injection appointments in cities across the U.S. With both office visits and telemedicine consultations available on Sesame, you can receive a wide range of health care services at low-cost upfront prices - regardless of your insurance status.

Facility: Getting an injection at a hospital may be nearly 2x as expensive as getting one during these doctor’s office visits. Before scheduling an appointment for a cortisone shot, talk to the physician about the specific cost of the procedure. You can usually research the average cost of an injection in your area so you can make the most informed and financially sound decision about your health care.

Sesame offers convenient and affordable consultations with orthopedic doctors so you can ask any questions you may have about cortisone injections, and the pain relief treatment that is best for you. New patient orthopedic consultations start at around $80 - no insurance needed.

Type of Injection: Cortisone shots are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation caused by a wide range of conditions. Because of this, the cost of a specific shot may vary depending on the site of the injection. According to CostHelper, a site that tracks national health care prices, a cortisone injection used to treat deep acne can range in cost from $25-$100. In contrast, an epidural steroid injection (used for the treatment of lower back pain) can cost between $100-$300.

Not only do different shots come with different prices, but different shots may be covered differently by your insurance provider. Before undergoing a cortisone injection, talk to your health care and insurance provider about costs associated with the procedure, and whether or not they are covered by your insurance plan.

How is a cortisone injection performed?

In most cases, a cortisone injection is a routine procedure that can be performed at a primary care clinic or an orthopedic doctor’s office. These are outpatient procedures - meaning that you can go home once the injection has been performed.

If your health care provider deems that a cortisone injection is appropriate for you, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Whether or not this is necessary depends on the type of shot you are receiving (for instance, an epidural versus a shot for cystic acne).

The injection site will be sanitized, and your health care provider will spray the area with an anesthetic to numb the pain of the shot. A cortisone injection is administered through a thin needle into the area affected by pain and inflammation. In most cases, you will some pressure from the injection, but not much else pain.

Because most injections are performed as outpatient procedures, you are usually free to leave after the procedure has finished. If you begin to notice any side effects of the injection, contact the health care provider who administered the shot right away.

Do cortisone injections cause side effects?

Common side effects of a cortisone injection include:

  • Pain in and around the injection site
  • Bruising around the injection site
  • Blushing (facial flushing)
  • Increased appetite
  • Temporarily heightened blood sugar levels
  • Temporarily heightened blood pressure
  • Insomnia

These effects are generally mild and will go away on their own.

Rare side effects of cortisone injections include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Change in heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Weakened tendons
  • Bone mineral loss

While these adverse effects are rare, they can be potentially life-threatening. If you begin to experience signs or symptoms related to any of the conditions above, seek medical attention right away.

How do I schedule a cortisone injection?

If you are dealing with long-term joint pain, or have been diagnosed with musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis or bursitis, your health care provider may recommend a cortisone injection to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. These shots are commonly performed at an orthopedic or primary care clinic. If you are dealing with cystic acne, your provider may offer a referral to a dermatologist's office for follow-up care.

Unsure if a cortisone injection is right for you? Book an orthopedic consultation on Sesame to speak to top-rated orthopedists, dermatologists, and primary care providers near you. These consultations allow you to ask questions about the efficacy and cost of cortisone injections, and help determine the treatment plan that’s right for you.

STATECITYCortisone Injection Cost
San Diego105
San Francisco150
San Jose100
FLFort Lauderdale160
Port St. Lucie486
Temple Terrace275
KSOverland Park500
MDSilver Spring210
MIRochester Hills350
MOKansas City95
NVLas Vegas350
NYNew York350
San Antonio150

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