Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Intra articular steroid shots work for OA knee

Many patients suffer from painful knees. The common cause is osteoarthritis. Most patients can be managed by medicines and exercise. Some will need surgery.
However a significant number are in between. What I mean is that medicines don't help and their knees are still not bad enough for surgery.

Should these patients be considered for intra articular steroids? Traditional teaching says that they do not work for OA. Further they are likely to accelerate the joint deterioration.

Marshall Godwin ET AL., have done a study of literature to answer this question. Does traditional teaching hold any water?

They found that steroid shots have been proved to be useful, giving a statistically significant reduction in pain one week after injection. The beneficial effects could last for up to 4 weeks, but is unlikely to continue beyond that. Furthermore, there were no reported adverse consequences. Evidence for accelerated joint deterioration is weak. Radio graphic examination did not show worsening.

The conclusion - A steroid shot is an important tool in the treatment of osteoarthritis, and patients with painful knees should not be denied their benefits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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