Don't inject steroids into osteoarthritic knees, trial concludes

Steroid injections into an osteoarthritic knee lead to cartilage loss with no significant improvement in pain, a clinical trial has shown.

In the study, 140 people aged over 45 with knee osteoarthritis were randomised to 1mL injections of either 40mg triamcinolone or saline in the knee every three months for two years.

Those in the group receiving the steroid lost significantly more cartilage than the controls on MRI assessment using two different measures, although the absolute loss was small.

Meanwhile, there was no difference between the two groups on pain scores