A Shot in the Arm

Years ago one of our friends had tennis elbow, which in medical terms is called lateral epicondylitis. His doctor gave him an injection of cortisone, a long-acting glucocorticoid. Afterwards, he urgently and repeatedly told me, “Richard, don’t ever let them to that to you.” He said it was very painful and didn’t do any good.

Years later a friend had the same malady, and was treated in the same way, with a steroid injection. She told me it provided almost immediate relief, but that it didn’t last, and in the end, she had to have surgery to repair the damage.

Things may be different for me, since my troubled tendon is the medial epicondyle, not the lateral, but I can tell you that I’ve had it injected twice now. The first time, in October, was done by our family physician, and was fairly painless, but not very effective. The second time, last week, was done by my osteopath, who had seen the MRI of my arm, and knew exactly where to inject. It too was painless going in, and within a couple of days, my tendon was much less tender.

Time will tell if I will need further treatment, but I am doing my best to take care of it. It is my hope that by that if it does require additional treatment, bionic arms will be cheap and plentiful. I think it would be really cool if I could lift Jeeps over my head.

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