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The Effect of Periarticular Injection of Methylprednisolone Acetate in Patients with Primary Osteoarthritis of the Proximal Interphalangeal Joints: A Case Controlled Study.

Backgrounds: Primary osteoarthritis of the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPJ) is a common entity. It could be associated with local pain that has no effective treatment. Local subcutaneous periarticular injection of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) was evaluated in a prospective case-control study.

Methods: Patients with painful osteoarthritis of the PIPJ for more than 1 month not responding to nonsteroidal meds were prospectively recruited. Radiographic, demographic, clinical, and lab parameters were documented. Visual analogue scale (VAS) was documented regarding the level of PIPJ pain prior to the injection. Patients had local subcutaneous periarticular injection at the medial and lateral sides of each painful PIPJ of one hand, of 8 mg (0.2 ml) of MPA mixed with 0.1 ml of lidocaine 1% (group 1) at each side. Age- and sex-matched control group were given 0.3 ml of normal saline using the same approach (group 2) at each side. VAS was evaluated 1, 4, and 10 weeks following the injection and compared to baseline levels using Wilcoxon's ranks signed test.

Results: Eighteen and sixteen patients were recruited in group 1 and group 2, respectively. There were 11 females in group 1 with mean age of 52.7 ± 9.2 years. Mean VAS in group 1 at baseline was 67 and at weeks 1, 4, and 10 was 23 (p=0.001), 29 (p=0.001), and 55 (p=0.043), respectively. Mean VAS in group 2 at baseline was 65 and at weeks 1, 4, and 10 was 43 (p=0.005), 64 (p=0.534), and 69 (0.698), respectively.

Conclusions: Subcutaneous periarticular injection of MPA + lidocaine at the PIP joints resulted in a small but significant improvement that gradually diminished with time across the week 10, among patients with primary OA of hands.

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