Sunita Paudyal, MD, Department of Medical Education, Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR, USA.
Stephen M. Campbell, MD, Department of Medical Education, Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR, USA.
Osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability among older adults. Treatment of the symptoms involves multiple modalities, including exercise, physical measures such as braces or canes, analgesics, and sometimes surgery. Many studies have demonstrated the utility of intra-articular corticosteroids in the knee, but data on their use in other joints are lacking. Intra-articular corticosteroids alleviate pain in the short term but have little effect on long-term function. Overall, they are quite safe, with relatively few contraindications or complications. Intra-articular corticosteroids are a temporizing measure rather than definitive therapy and are most useful in the treatment of acute exacerbations of osteoarthritis pain, to alleviate symptoms as other therapies are instituted, and to tide patients over as they await surgery.
Key words: osteoarthritis, corticosteroids, intra-articular, injections, therapy.