I think that this is clearly an interesting topic for discussion and consideration of the current evidence.
The commentary article by Dr John Orchard (below) is clearly very strong and well articulated, but these formats — whilst making their best efforts to be evidence informed — are inherently biased!
The central systematic review to which John’s commentary refers is also below. There is a focus on studies that have administered/compared the effects of multiple steroid injections over a defined short time course, which could be argued is different from the argument that the commentary (don’t deliver any corticosteroid injection (CSI) to knees with OA) is presenting.
The review findings do add weight to the argument that short term benefits from injections are commonly observed, but that beyond the 6 – 8 week time point, placebo or other injectables (e.g. Hyaluronic acid) are of possibly superior effect to corticosteroid.
I think it is important for some consideration of these level 1 findings, and on our approaches to managing this painful condition. With a suffering patient in front of you seeking assistance, it may be challenging to deny them something that can ease their short term symptoms, but perhaps these data may shift the discussion away from steroid and result in a different approach being offered?
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