Steroid Injections Provide Short-Term Benefit for Hip Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) in the hip is treated initially with measures such as weight loss, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If symptoms aren’t adequately relieved, an ultrasound-guided injection of a corticosteroid (a powerful anti-inflammatory drug) may be the next step. A study published in the journal BMJ (April 2022) examined the effectiveness of steroid injections. The study included 199 adults with moderate to severe hip OA who were randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group received an injection of a steroid plus the anesthetic lidocaine. Those in the second group were given an injection of lidocaine but no steroid. The third group were given advice and education and no injection. Participants who received a steroid injection reported the greatest improvements in pain and function in the first two to four months. By six months, the difference between the groups was no longer significant.