Intra-Articular Corticosteroid Injections for Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis

What the Orthopaedic Provider Needs to Know

Cody L. Martin, MD; James A. Browne, MD


J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2019;27(17):e758-e766. 

In This Article


Intra-articular steroid injections are a relatively safe treatment for short-term symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee. They should not be given on a scheduled basis but instead used only when patients have substantial symptoms. They should be discontinued if previous injections fail to provide substantial relief. Recent studies suggest that cartilage loss may occur in those who receive multiple subsequent injections, although the clinical effects are not known and may not be relevant for patients who already have substantial osteoarthritis. Providers and patients should be aware of the risks and potential complications of this common treatment.