A common therapy for joint pain may not be as safe as experts believed, according to a new report published Tuesday. Corticosteroid injections are often given to reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis.
But these injections may do more harm than good: The report found corticosteroid shots in the hips and knees may accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis and potentially even hasten the need for joint replacement surgeries in the long run, said lead author Dr. Ali Guermazi, a professor of radiology at the Boston University School of Medicine.
“The intra-articular corticosteroid injections in the hips and knees are not as safe as we thought,” Guermazi, whose paper is published in the journal Radiology, said.
It’s estimated that more than 30 million Americans have osteoarthritis, a chronic condition that causes cartilage loss, joint inflammation, pain, swelling and, in severe cases, bone destruction, according to the Arthritis Foundation.