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Intra-articular injection (IAI) of steroid is a safe and effective treatment for painful knee osteoarthritis (OA).1 The mechanism of action is thought to be partly mediated by an anti-inflammatory effect on the synovium which may be detected by changes observed on ultrasound (US) examination.2 Placebo IAI of saline can also significantly reduce pain though the mechanisms are not generally thought to associate with a peripheral effect.3–5 This pilot study aimed to investigate whether improved knee pain correlated with improved US measures following IAI of a corticosteroid or a placebo in OA knees.
Twenty-five participants with painful knee OA (Kellgren and Lawrence grade ≥2) were randomised to one of two treatment sequences (IAI of methylprednisolone (40 mg in 1 mL) followed by IAI of saline placebo (1 mL, 0.9%), or vice versa) to their most painful knee. Synovial fluid equal to volume injected …
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