Inject the knee joint with a corticosteroid shot

Corticosteroid shots do not cure arthritis or make the cartilage grow back.15 A corticosteroid injection might temporarily reduce pain and joint stiffness.9,17,18

Advantage:

  • You might experience a slight relief of symptoms for a month or so.9,17,18

Disadvantages:

  • It's not clear that corticosteroid injection is better than a fake injection.9
  • Corticosteroid shots can harm the remaining cartilage, so it is important to space out the injections appropriately if you use them. Usually at least 3 to 4 months apart.19,20
  • Potential disappointment if it doesn’t help.

Results
The results of the studies vary, so it’s not clear how well corticosteroid shots work. A recent review of the best evidence suggested that one month after injection 44 people out of 100 people have less pain and can do more after a corticosteroid shot compared to 31 that receive a fake shot.17

Problems:

  • Frequent and regular injection with corticosteroids speed the loss of cartilage.19,20
  • 3 of 100 people have a minor problem such as discomfort or swelling after injection.17
    Population: 3%
  • Approximately 1 of 1000 people have a severe problem such as an infection in the knee or an allergic reaction.
    Population: 0.5%