The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Intra-Articular Injections for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Now that glucosamine and chondroitin, 2 favorite over-the-counter remedies for painful osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, have been at least somewhat discredited,1 some patients will be asking about alternatives. One of these is periodic intra-articular injection of a corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid preparation.

INDICATIONS — Many patients with OA of the knee have inadequate responses or relative contraindications to systemic anti-inflammatory or analgesic drugs. Injectable intra-articular agents, particularly corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid preparations, have been used as alternatives in such patients, sometimes as a bridge to more definitive approaches such as physical therapy and exercise programs or, in some cases, knee replacement. They have also been used in elderly patients who would have been candidates for knee replacement if they did not have other significant ... more      

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