Cortisone injections safe, Don't avoid because of knee damage fears, says study
Boston-Knee osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative joint disease or "wear and tear" arthritis, affects one in eight Americans over the age of 50 and is associated with reduced quality of life and increased mortality. Cortisone shots, also known as intra-articular corticosteroid injections (CSI) and hyaluronic acid injections (HAI) are popular treatments for this disease yet recent studies have raised the concern that knees treated with CSI are at high risk of OA progression.
A new Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) study shows that cortisone injections in the knee do not cause significant cartilage loss or increase the risk of knee replacement.
Felson and his colleagues studied people with knee arthritis who were participants in two large longitudinal studies and who reported therapeutic injections into their knees with either cortisone or HAI. The latter treatment has been reported to delay knee replacement and it is thought to have no effect on cartilage loss. After seven years of follow-up, those who got steroid injections had no greater cartilage loss than those who got HAI and those who got steroid injections actually had a slightly reduced rate of knee replacements compared to those getting HAI.
These findings appear in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology.