Kenalog (triamcinolone) and cortisone are two members of a class of medications called steroids, which suppress substances in the body responsible for inflammation. Both of these medications are available in injectable form.
Doctors may inject Kenalog into tendons for treatment of bursitis, epicondylitis (tennis elbow) or tendinitis, or into the interior spaces of a joint to treat joint inflammation, according to Drugs.com.
Doctors may inject cortisone for pain relief into joints throughout the body, tendons, cushioning bursa sacs or as an epidural medication delivered into the spinal column, according to SpineUniverse. Cortisone injections also frequently contain a local anesthetic.
SpineUniverse cites potential side effects of cortisone injections that include weakening of tendons and softening of joint cartilage. Potential side effects of Kenalog injections include depression, seizures, rapid weight gain and abnormal heartbeat.
Doctors and laymen often use the terms cortisone injection or cortisone shot to refer to any injected combination of steroid medication and anesthetic, the Mayo Clinic reports. Cortisone shots therefore do not necessarily contain cortisone.
Typically, doctors reserve the use of Kenalog injections for short-term relief of aggravated or severe symptoms of inflammation, Drugs.com notes.