THIS SHOT MIGHT HURT

Arthritis Today|March/April 2020

THIS SHOT MIGHT HURT
CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS EASE PAIN – AT A RISK.
LINDA RATH

Every year, millions of people get a corticosteroid shot directly into one or more joints to relieve pain and inflammation related to different types of arthritis. But the results vary greatly. Some people get temporary relief, some see no change – and some get worse.

Ali Guermazi, MD, a professor of radiology at Boston University School of Medicine, thinks he knows why. He and his team looked at data on 459 Boston Medical Center patients who received corticosteroid (also called cortisone) injections in the hip or knee in 2018. Of them, 8% developed complications that left them worse off, including cartilage loss, stress fractures and a serious condition called osteonecrosis, which destroys bone and can lead to the need for joint replacement surgery.

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March/April 2020