Intra-articular therapy in osteoarthritis

J. R. Kirwan*, E. Rankin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Although intra-articular therapy is widely used in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), those controlled clinical trials which include placebo groups suggest that there is little to be gained over joint aspiration alone, or even over a simple needle prick. Glucocorticoids may however offer a small additional symptom benefit over one or two weeks. Viscosupplementation may offer a slightly longer benefit. Intra-articular radiotherapy probably confers no benefit. Serious adverse effects are rare but local effects may occur in up to 10% of patients treated with viscosupplements. Future research should always include a placebo group in clinical studies, should clarify the possible benefits of viscosupplementation and should include in vitro work to consider the biological basis for possible actions of intra-articular therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-794
Number of pages26
JournalBaillière's Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Controlled clinical trials
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hip
  • Hyalgan
  • Hyaluronate
  • Intra-articular radiotherapy
  • Knee
  • Viscosupplementation


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