How much does a steroid injection cost privately in the UK? In this article you will find out everything you need to know about the price of steroid injections in the UK and the safer alternatives available, including Prolozone Therapy.
Steroid injections are in reality based on corticosteroids which are used as active anti-inflammatory action when it comes to severe infections and intense health conditions. Corticosteroid injections (1) have been used for years for the treatment of osteoarthritis, joint pain, and other inflammatory conditions like covid-19, bursitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Commonly Used Steroid Injections
Steroid injections vary depending upon the type of steroid in use and the site of injection. If the steroid is administered as a joint injection, it is called an intra-articular injection. (2) If it is placed in the spine or in muscles, it is called an epidural injection or an intramuscular injection respectively. Intravenous injection is however the most common form of the route of administration. Chemically, steroidal injections will be either mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, or cortisone injections.
Price of Administering Steroid Injections
There are variable prices of steroid injections available in the UK when it comes to buying them privately. The main goal of these injections is anti-inflammatory action and pain relief.
In the UK, it is available at a cost of £250. In case of administering these injections with advanced procedures, you might have to pay £30 extra, making your total charges equal to £280.
Hyaluronic Acid Injection
Also, it is a common practice to use hyaluronic acid with corticosteroid injections. The patients prefer administrating this injection after a steroid so that the effect of the steroidal drug in the body can be prolonged for a duration of four to eight weeks. A hyaluronic acid injection is available under the brand names Ostenil Plus and Durolane which cost £290 and £350 respectively.
Hyaluronic Acid and Steroidal Combination Products
A combination of both these products is also utilized by the clinicians in order to minimize the separate costs of the two drugs. These products range from £340 to £400 for each injection. An example of such a product is the pre-mixed combination called Cingal which costs £400.
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP injections are very commonly administered together with the corticosteroids so that the therapeutic effect can be observed for a longer time. It is also known for decreasing the rate of complications (3) in patients who are administered steroids. The price of a PRP combination of steroids costs £450 for each injection. Because this combination is usually administered in a three-dose course, it costs £1200 privately.
Alternatives to Steroid Injections
PRP, Hyaluronic acid, local anaesthetics, and needling are very feasible alternatives to avoid the complications and side effects caused by steroid injection. Also buying these injections privately in UK is not a possibility for a common man since it is not included in health insurance. So, using the above option is far better than relying on steroids. (4)
Use of Cortisone Injections
There are more than five hundred thousand patients in the UK who have to make use of cortisone injections for their pain relief treatments. The tendon and joint problems cannot be treated without the use of these injections. It is very effective in multiple types of musculoskeletal problems like tendonitis and arthritis.
A number of orthopaedic health issues like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis in the thumb, knees, and hips (5) is the usual condition that put fort The use of cortisone depends on the severity of the condition. Mostly, physiotherapy is the initial solution recommended for the patients. But exercise alone does not suffice for the treatment and so cortisone is used.
Frozen shoulder is a problem that is also known as adhesive capsulitis. The patient is not able to move the shoulder at all, and the upper limb of the affected side becomes immovable because of pain. The symptoms of stiffness and pain start to ameliorate on their own in a period of eight to twelve months. If symptoms persist, the condition is usually treated with the use of hydrodistension injections.
Health Diseases Related to Soft Tissues
Conditions related to ligaments and tendons can be improved using cortisone and hydrocortisone injections. Conditions related to soft tissues include tendinitis and tendinopathy. Pain associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis, golfer’s elbow, trigger finger, and tennis elbow present with tendon pain that are not easy to handle. Painful joints usually have an underlying cause of inflamed or damaged tendons and ligaments. Alternatively, barbotage can be used in case of calcific tendonitis.
Ultrasound-Guided Injection Administration
Injection procedures can vary and not all these injections are administered by a nurse, a general physician, or other healthcare professionals and providers. If you have a specific orthopaedic case, your injection would most likely be administered by a rheumatologist. An ultrasound scan (6) is an appropriate way to target the tendon, ligament, or joint. This will help avoid other sensitive structures like nerves and blood vessels and prevent complications. X-ray is not recommended in this case because it does not expose any soft tissues.
Side Effects of Steroid Injections
Steroidal injections of course do not come without side effects. There are multiple signs and symptoms that the patient might experience after their administration. NHS recommends the use of paracetamol as the first option for pain management followed by NSAIDs if the pain persists. Steroids are usually the last option. (7) Pain management can always be speeded by physio practices guided by physiotherapists. Patient care is very important in order to avoid any harmful, persistent, and life-threatening complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my GP give me a steroid injection?
A steroid injection should always be given by a general physician (GP) or a specialist. It should be administered by sterile methods and the site should be rubbed with an alcoholic swab to avoid infection.
What is the average cost of an epidural steroid injection?
From multiple studies conducted in the UK, the average cost of an epidural injection of steroids is £219. It is an expensive option and is definitely out of reach for a layman to buy privately.
Can I get a cortisone shot without a referral?
Yes, you can get your cortisone shot directly from your doctor or GP if you are willing to go for a steroid injection privately. Going for a private injection means you need immediate medical help for pain and so referrals are not required in this case.
Where is the most painful place to get a cortisone shot?
The intensity of pain after cortisone injection varies from site to site. Of course, some sites present more pain than others. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are the most painful sites.
How much does a spinal injection cost?
A spinal injection cost ranges from £1,110 to £2,290 depending on the area in the UK. It is cheaper comparatively in South East England and more expensive in the hospitals of Scotland.
What is the success rate of epidural steroid injections?
A success rate of 54% to 80% is observed in the patients experiencing pain who receive epidural steroid injections. The success rate is more prominent when the injection is administered in the cervical spine region.
- Buchbinder, R. (2003, January 20). Cochrane Library. Cochrane Library. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004016/full
- Grillet, B., & Dequeker, J. (1990). Intra-Articular Steroid Injection A Risk-Benefit Assessment. Drug Safety, 5(3), 205–211. https://doi.org/10.2165/00002018-199005030-00005
- Gottlieb, N. L. (1980). Complications of Local Corticosteroid Injections. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 243(15), 1547. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1980.03300410035021
- Liu, J., Soo, C., Lin, Y., & Lin, C. (2021). An alternative approach for lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection—Far lateral approach. Pain Practice, 21(8), 978–983. https://doi.org/10.1111/papr.13060
- Lambert, R. G. W., Hutchings, E. J., Grace, M. G. A., Jhangri, G. S., Conner-Spady, B., & Maksymowych, W. P. (2007). Steroid injection for osteoarthritis of the hip: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 56(7), 2278–2287. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.22739
- Micu, M. C., Bogdan, G. D., & Fodor, D. (2010). Steroid injection for hip osteoarthritis: efficacy under ultrasound guidance. Rheumatology, 49(8), 1490–1494. https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keq030
- Cicala, R. S., Westbrook, L., & Angel, J. J. (1989). Side effects and complications of cervical epidural steroid injections. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 4(2), 64–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/0885-3924(89)90024-9