Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My neighbor has knee arthritis real bad. She asked me for advice about getting steroid injections. I've never tried them for my arthritis. I seem to get along just fine with tylenol or sometimes ibuprofen. But I told her I would check with you since I find all my other information here. What do you recommend?

Research has shown that corticosteroids injected into the joint work for reducing knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. But the pain reducing effect only lasts about one week. Steroid injections offer short-term pain relief but they aren't advised for more than that. There are different steroid medications available for injection such as betamethasone, methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone. A review of the available studies published so far suggest that triamcinolone appears to outperform the other drug choices as well as a placebo (injection without the effective medication). More research is clearly needed in comparing different steroid injections, the timing and dosage of the injections, and factors that predict which patients are most likely to respond. Fortunately, even though steroids only give short-term pain relief, there are other effective treatments patient can use as well. Physical activity and exercise, nutritional supplements, antiinflammatory drugs, braces, topical creams, and if necessary, surgery are all acceptable treatment choices. Finding the most optimal single treatment or combination of treatments may be an individual decision. But it is one that is best made with the help of a physician who treats arthritis patients on a regular basis. If your neighbor has not been to see a doctor for a proper evaluation and diagnosis, then that is the next best step.


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