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Intra-Articular Corticosteroids in Addition to Exercise for Reducing Pain Sensitivity in Knee Osteoarthritis: Exploratory Outcome from a Randomized Controlled Trial

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of one intra-articular corticosteroid injection two weeks prior to an exercise-based intervention program for reducing pain sensitivity in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

DESIGN: Randomized, masked, parallel, placebo-controlled trial involving 100 participants with clinical and radiographic knee OA that were randomized to one intra-articular injection on the knee with either 1 ml of 40 mg/ml methylprednisolone (corticosteroid) dissolved in 4 ml lidocaine (10 mg/ml) or 1 ml isotonic saline (placebo) mixed with 4 ml lidocaine (10 mg/ml). Two weeks after the injections all participants undertook a 12-week supervised exercise program. Main outcomes were changes from baseline in pressure-pain sensitivity (pressure-pain threshold [PPT] and temporal summation [TS]) assessed using cuff pressure algometry on the calf. These were exploratory outcomes from a randomized controlled trial.

RESULTS: A total of 100 patients were randomized to receive either corticosteroid (n = 50) or placebo (n = 50); 45 and 44, respectively, completed the trial. Four participants had missing values for PPT and one for TS at baseline; thus modified intention-to-treat populations were analyzed. The mean group difference in changes from baseline at week 14 was 0.6 kPa (95% CI: -1.7 to 2.8; P = 0.626) for PPT and 384 mm×sec (95% CI: -2980 to 3750; P = 0.821) for TS.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that adding intra-articular corticosteroid injection 2 weeks prior to an exercise program does not provide additional benefits compared to placebo in reducing pain sensitivity in patients with knee OA.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: EU clinical trials (EudraCT): 2012-002607-18.

Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume11
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e0149168
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 46405681