1. Health Hub
  2. Cortisone Injections: Cost Factors, Uses, and Side Effects
How Much Does a Cortisone Injection Cost?
May 28, 2022|Read Time - 5 minutes
Written by
Last updated on April 22, 2024

Cost factors, uses, and side effects of cortisone injections

How Much Does a Cortisone Injection Cost?

Cortisone injections - a shot containing a corticosteroid - can cost anywhere from $25-$300 (based on Sesame’s pricing data). The cost of a corticosteroid injection depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Where you live
  • Your health insurance status
  • The location of the injection site

If it is medically necessary, an insurance company usually covers the cost of a corticosteroid shot. If you have insurance, a cortisone shot may only cost $20-$50 out of pocket. However, underinsured or uninsured patients, as well as patients undergoing an elective cortisone shot, may pay more out-of-pocket costs.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Cortisone Injection?

Cortisone injection costs vary depending on your insurance status, the facility, and the body part receiving the injection.

  1. 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 will vary depending on the number of shots you need. It will also vary depending on whether or not your insurance provider deems the shot “medically necessary”. For instance, Medicare may cover an injection for joint pain but may not cover an injection for acne.

  2. Facility: Getting an injection at a hospital may be nearly twice as expensive as getting one during an outpatient (doctor’s office) visit. Before scheduling an appointment, talk to the provider 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 decision about your care.

  3. Type of Injection: Cortisone shot costs vary depending on the site of the injection. A cortisone injection used to treat deep acne can cost between $25 and $100. In contrast, an epidural steroid injection (used to treat lower back pain) can cost between $100 and $300.

Talk to your provider about the cost of an injection. Note that the procedure's cost is only one part of your health care costs. Additional costs include the office visit and medical imaging (like an X-ray or CT scan).

What is a Cortisone Shot?

Cortisone shots are steroid injections used as pain relief and anti-inflammatory measures in different parts of the body. A steroid shot may be used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis (fluid-filled sacs called bursa that causes joint pain)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Trigger finger
  • Frozen shoulder (stiffness in the shoulder joint)
  • Lower back pain
  • Cysts/ deep acne

Cortisone shots deliver the steroid to the affected area through a thin needle. Cortisone is a man-made version of the cortisol hormone, which the adrenal glands produce to regulate the immune system. Cortisone controls inflammatory hormones, which provides pain relief and improves mobility.

Cortisone injections are often used along with other treatment methods such as physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and weight management.

What Are the Common Types of Cortisone Injections?

There are four main types of cortisone injections.

  1. Joint injections: Joint injections (also known as intra-articular injections) are used to treat joint pain. The joint injection is applied directly to the affected joint. These injections are used to treat:

    • Knee pain
    • Back pain
    • Shoulder pain

  2. Epidural injections: Epidural injections are applied to the spinal cord to treat back pain and neck pain.

  3. Soft-tissue injections: Soft-tissue injections are used to treat pain and inflammation from soft-tissue injuries and conditions. Soft-tissue issues include plantar fasciitis and tendinitis.

  4. Acne injections: Steroid injections are used for severe cystic acne. The shot is applied directly to the cystic acne.

Your provider will recommend the best type of injection for you based on why you need treatment.

How is a Cortisone Injection Performed?

Cortisone injections are routine procedures that can be performed at a primary care clinic or an orthopedic doctor’s office. They are often outpatient procedures, meaning that you can go home once the injection has been performed.

The injection site will be sanitized, and your healthcare provider will spray the area with a local 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 your healthcare provider right away.

How long a cortisone injection lasts

The effects of a cortisone injection last 3-6 months. If pain and inflammation come back earlier than this, talk to your provider. An underlying condition may be affecting the treatment.

Do Cortisone Injections Cause Side Ef

Cortisone injections are generally safe. In most cases, the side effects are mild and will go away within a day or two.

Common, mild 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

Rare side effects of cortisone injections include:

  • Allergic reactions (swelling, difficulty breathing, hives)
  • Change in heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Nerve damage
  • Weakened tendons
  • Bone mineral loss

While these adverse effects are rare, they can be potentially life-threatening. If you begin to experience severe symptoms, or symptoms that don’t go away within a few days, seek medical attention.

What Do I Do After My Shot?

After your injection, you may be asked to:

  • Avoid using the area that received the injection (for instance, not lifting anything heavy if you received an epidural injection)
  • Protect the injection site for a day or two
  • Avoid using a bathtub, hot tub, or whirlpool for two days after your injection (you can take a shower)
  • Monitor the injection site for signs of an infection (like swelling, pain, or redness)
  • Ice the injection site with an ice pack wrapped in a clean rag or towel to relieve pain and swelling (do not use a heating pad)

How Sesame Can Help

If you are experiencing lingering pain or mobility problems, book an online doctor appointment on Sesame to speak to a licensed healthcare provider. Providers on Sesame can treat your symptoms, order follow-up treatment, and prescribe medication if appropriate. Book a visit today to start feeling better fast.


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

Related articles

See all
How much does a knee replacement cost?

How much does a knee replacement cost?

How much does a knee replacement cost?

Eric WeimanMay 26, 2022
Read in 5 minutes

How much does urgent care cost?

How much does urgent care cost?

How much does urgent care cost?

Eric WeimanMay 26, 2022
Read in 5 minutes

How much does a chiropractor cost?

How much does a chiropractor cost?

How much does a chiropractor cost?

Eric WeimanMay 26, 2022
Read in 5 minutes

Preventive services help avoid you avoid health issues. Use this easy guide to get healthy and stay healthy from Sesame's Medical Director Dr. Allison Edwards

Your Preventive Care Checklist

Preventive services help avoid you avoid health issues. Use ...

Allison Edwards, MD, Medical DirectorFebruary 21, 2024
Read in 5 minutes

Medical disclaimer

Sesame content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern, it is critical to seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions. If you are facing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room immediately.

Editorial policy

Sesame's Editorial Team is committed to delivering useful, relevant and reliable health information to our readers. Our editorial policy ensures that all content is thoroughly researched and medically reviewed to maintain high standards of accuracy and integrity. For more details on our commitment and practices, please visit our Editorial Process and Review Standards Policy page.