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What precautions should be taken with corticosteroid injections for osteoarthritis (OA)?

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Corticosteroids fight inflammation and can give you quick relief from osteoarthritis. But corticosteroid injections can’t repair damaged cartilage or slow the progression of arthritis. Their relief is only temporary.

Most experts say you should limit injections to no more than once every 3 to 4 months. Get no more than about 4 shots in any one joint.

If you still have joint pain after corticosteroid injections, talk with your doctor about other treatments. Depending on the joints involved, other treatment options could include joint replacement.

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation / Arthritis Today: "Use of Corticosteroids in Osteoarthritis." 

Bellamy. , April 19, 2006. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews

Cedars-Sinai Health System: “Joint Injections/Aspiration.”

Hospital for Special Surgery: “How to Reduce Corticosteroid Side Effects.”

University of Washington, Seattle: “Hip and Knee Questions and Answers.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 22, 2019

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation / Arthritis Today: "Use of Corticosteroids in Osteoarthritis." 

Bellamy. , April 19, 2006. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews

Cedars-Sinai Health System: “Joint Injections/Aspiration.”

Hospital for Special Surgery: “How to Reduce Corticosteroid Side Effects.”

University of Washington, Seattle: “Hip and Knee Questions and Answers.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 22, 2019

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