Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology conditionally recommend the use of intra-articular corticosteroid injections for treatment of knee osteoarthritis. 51 The duration of pain relief is one to two weeks in most trials, with a few showing improvements lasting three to four weeks. 60 – 63 Research uniformly supports the safety of intra-articular corticosteroid injections for treatment of knee osteoarthritis; however, these studies are limited by lack of histologic data and poor long-term follow-up. 64 A Cochrane review found weak evidence for the use of corticosteroid injections for the treatment of knee rheumatoid arthritis. 52
For rotator cuff disease, subacromial steroid injection was demonstrated to have a small benefit over placebo in some trials however no benefit of subacromial steroid injection over NSAID was demonstrated based upon the pooled results of three trials.
For adhesive capsulitis, two trials suggested a possible early benefit of intra-articular steroid injection over placebo but there was insufficient data for pooling of any of the trials. One trial suggested short-term benefit of intra-articular corticosteroid injection over physiotherapy in the short-term (success at seven weeks RR = (, ).