Nav: Home

Findings do not support steroid injections for knee osteoarthritis

May 16, 2017

Among patients with knee osteoarthritis, an injection of a corticosteroid every three months over two years resulted in significantly greater cartilage volume loss and no significant difference in knee pain compared to patients who received a placebo injection, according to a study published by JAMA.

Symptomatic knee osteoarthritis was estimated to affect more than 9 million individuals in the United States in 2005 and is a leading cause of disability and medical costs.

Treatments for osteoarthritis are primarily prescribed to reduce symptoms, with no interventions known to influence structural progression. Synovitis (inflammation of a membrane that lines the joints) is common and is associated with progression of structural characteristics of knee osteoarthritis. Intra-articular corticosteroids (an injection in the joint) could reduce cartilage damage associated with synovitis but might have adverse effects on cartilage and bone.

Timothy E. McAlindon, D.M., M.P.H., of Tufts Medical Center, Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned 140 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis with features of synovitis to injections in the joint with the corticosteroid triamcinolone (n = 70) or saline (n = 70) every 12 weeks for two years. The researchers found that injections with triamcinolone resulted in significantly greater cartilage volume loss than did saline (average change in cartilage thickness of -0.21 mm vs -0.10 mm) and no significant difference on measures of pain. The saline group had three treatment-related adverse events compared with five in the triamcinolone group.

Several limitations of the study are noted in the article, including that any transient benefit on pain ending within the 3-month period between each injection could have been missed by methods used in the study.

"These findings do not support this treatment for patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis," the authors write.
-end-
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jama.2017.5283)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Video Content: There is a JAMA Report video for this study. It is available under embargo at this link, and includes broadcast-quality downloadable video files, B-roll, scripts and other images. Please email mediarelations@jamanetwork.org with any questions.

To place an electronic embedded link to this study in your story This link will be live at the embargo time: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/10.1001/jama.2017.5283

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Osteoarthritis Articles:

Osteoarthritis can increase your risk for social isolation
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined information from the European Project on OSteoArthritis (EPOSA) study.
High rates of opioid prescriptions for osteoarthritis
Opioids work against severe pain but the risks of side effects and addiction are high.
Disease burden in osteoarthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally been viewed as a highly prevalent but milder condition when compared with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and some may believe that it is part of a normal aging process requiring acceptance, not treatment.
3D printing may help treat osteoarthritis
In a Journal of Orthopaedic Research study, scientists used 3D printing to repair bone in the joints of mini-pigs, an advance that may help to treat osteoarthritis in humans.
Finger joint enlargements may be linked to knee osteoarthritis
Heberden's nodes (HNs) are bony enlargements of the finger joints that are readily detectable in a routine physical exam and are considered hallmarks of osteoarthritis.
Hormone therapy may be best defense against knee osteoarthritis
There is an ongoing debate regarding the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and hormone therapy (HT), with small-scale studies providing mixed results.
Going from negative to positive in the treatment of osteoarthritis
A scientific team has designed a charged molecule that improved the delivery of osteoarthritis drugs to knee joint cartilage in rodent models of the debilitating joint disorder.
Antioxidant defender protects against osteoarthritis
A protein involved in multiple cellular processes called ANP32A protects cartilage in the joints against degradation by damaging oxidation, preventing the development and progression of osteoarthritis, according to a new study by Frederique Cornelis and colleagues.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis lessened with simple changes to the diet
One gram of fish oil a day could help reduce the pain of patients with osteoarthritis, a new study in Rheumatology reports.
Get off the golf cart if you have knee osteoarthritis
It may seem intuitive that golfers with knee osteoarthritis should stay off their feet and ride in a golf cart.
More Osteoarthritis News and Osteoarthritis Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.