Written by Honor Whiteman , Published 5-16-2017
Patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis do not benefit from steroid injections, concludes a new study published in JAMA.
Study co-author Timothy E. McAlindon, of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA, and colleagues found that steroid injections administered every 3 months were no better than a placebo for alleviating knee pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).
In fact, the researchers found that steroid injections actually led to a greater loss in the volume of bone cartilage over 2 years.
Based on their findings, McAlindon and colleagues recommend against the use of steroid injections for the treatment of knee OA.
OA is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, the tissue that covers and protects the ends of bones, and it most commonly affects the joints of the knees, hips, hands, and spine. The “wear and tear” of cartilage can lead to pain, inflammation, and movement problems.