Cortisone Injection for OA Knee Pain

Posted by Helen Potter on 23 December 2019 | Filed under Arthritis Care and Groups, OA Knee

17 February 2018 Modified by Helen Potter FACP

Corticosteroid injections are approved as a short-term treatment for pain relief in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Repeat injections, or long-term use, are not supported by current evidence.

The risk of repetition of injections raises the chance of more cartilage loss. Also they have been found to increase cartilage loss and are not generally ineffective in reducing pain in patients with knee OA (Osteoarthritis).


If required for pain relief short term:

  • Should be no more than four injections in a single joint in a year, because of  increased risk of cartilage damage
  • If no response after two consecutive injections, do not repeat
  • A single injection may provide symptom relief lasting 4–12 weeks for patients with knee OA
  • In research, steroid injections in patients with knee OA were found to lead to small or moderate improvements in knee pain which enables exercise

Key points

In a 2-year clinical study cortisone did not reduce pain for patients with Knee OA.
Any reduced pain was moderate at 1–2 weeks, minimal at 13 weeks and not evident at 26 weeks.

  • Management of OA should aim to optimise the patient’s physical function with a physiotherapy rehabilitation program
  • The program should emphasise strength and specific VMO, with retraining of motor control
  • Physiotherapy aims to maximise quality of life by encouraging weight loss and increased activity
  • We use education and current knowledge to enable you to cope with pain
  • We reduce symptoms with active physiotherapy and specific retraining of knee and hip muscle control
  • We  cam improve movement and function



Sharing is caring!

Make a booking with Helen

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.