If you’re trying to fight inflammation in a bad knee by using drugs, opt for the milder, non-steroidal stuff.
That’s the takeaway from a study published this year in JAMA.
There were 140 subjects, average age 58. They had pain and inflammation because of knee osteoarthritis. For every three months over two years, the subjects received knee injections that consisted of either the corticosteroid triamcinolone or a placebo.
What researchers then found was rather surprising.
Knee pain declined slightly in both groups, but by about the same amount – so the steroid didn’t even outperform a saline placebo. However, those who got the corticosteroid injections had “significantly greater cartilage volume loss.”
The researchers’ conclusion doesn’t mince words: These findings do not support this treatment for patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
Controlling inflammation is good, but it’s probably a good idea to take a pass on steroids.