Pay attention to the evidence: in the longer term, intraarticular corticosteroid injections offer only harm for knee osteoarthritis

Review written by Todd Hargrove info

Key Points

  1. There is no evidence that intra-articular corticosteroid injections provide any long-term benefits for treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Intra-articular corticosteroid injections (IACIs) are a common treatment for knee osteoarthritis, but there is evidence that their benefits are limited to the short term, and that they cause harm in the long term.

This paper was a commentary reviewing some of the relevant evidence and arguing that medical care providers should discontinue use of IACIs as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis.

Intra-articular corticosteroid injections are a common treatment for knee osteoarthritis, but there is evidence that their benefits are limited to the short term.
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Intra-articular corticosteroid injections might cause long term harm through cartilage degeneration, and/or increasing the probability of surgery and its associated risks, such as infection.

METHODS

This paper reviewed some systematic reviews, RCTs and meta-analyses concerning the medium and long-term effects of IACI treatment compared to placebo and alternative treatments. It also rebuts arguments from experts who recommend the continued use of IACIs for treatment of

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