Menu Close

New evidence shows knee and hip steroid injections can be dangerous

A new study by the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) reveals knee and hip pain steroid injections can lead to unintended acceleration of arthritis and joint destruction.

“We are now seeing these injections can be very harmful to the joints with serious complications such as osteonecrosis, subchondral insufficiency fracture and rapid progressive osteoarthritis,” said corresponding author Ali Guermazi, MD, PhD, chief of radiology at VA Boston Healthcare System and professor of radiology at BUSM. “Intra-articular corticosteroid injection should be seriously discussed for pros and cons. Critical considerations about the complications should be part of the patient consent which is currently not the case right now,” he added.

Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee is among the most common joint disorders. A frequently (thousands per day worldwide)

Intra-articular corticosteroid injections are increasingly performed for treatment of pain in knee and hip osteoarthritis, researchers suggest the radiologic community should actively engage in high-quality research about this topic, to better understand potential at-risk conditions prior to intervention and to better understand potential adverse joint events following these procedures to avoid possible complications.

These findings appear online in the journal Radiology.

Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew J. Kompel, Frank W. Roemer, Akira M. Murakami, Luis E. Diaz, Michel D. Crema, Ali Guermazi. Intra-articular Corticosteroid Injections in the Hip and Knee: Perhaps Not as Safe as We Thought?Radiology, 2019; 190341 DOI: 1148/radiol.2019190341

Boston University School of Medicine. “New evidence that hip and knee steroid injections more dangerous than thought: May accelerate arthritis, joint destruction.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2019. <>.