Knee osteoarthritis: weak evidence supports corticosteroid injections

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Takeaway

  • Although evidence is of low quality, steroid injections for osteoarthritis may be associated with moderate improvements in function and pain with decreasing benefits with time elapsed from injection, and no evidence for benefit after 6 wk.

Why this matters

  • Steroid injections are a common treatment for osteoarthritis, but have significant side effects, especially with repeated use.

Study design

  • Synopsis of a recently updated Cochrane meta-analysis of 27 studies by the same authors of steroid injections compared with either sham injection or no intervention in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA), with discussion of role of corticosteroids in treatment.

Key results

  • The authors estimated that 1 additional patient with KOA treated with corticosteroid would benefit for every 8 patients treated.
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