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Am J Sports Med. 2009 Jun;37(6):1077-82. doi: 10.1177/0363546508331204. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

A randomized, prospective, double-blind study to investigate the effectiveness of adding DepoMedrol to a local anesthetic injection in postmeniscectomy patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.



Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee are at risk for poorer outcomes after arthroscopic meniscectomy. Intra-articular corticosteroid injections have been shown to be efficacious both in patients with osteoarthritis and postarthroscopy patients.


A postoperative, intra-articular methylprednisolone and lidocaine injection in patients with chondromalacia undergoing meniscectomy will improve patient-rated pain and function compared with control patients.


Randomized, controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.


A total of 58 patients (59 knees) were randomized in a double-blinded fashion to receive either saline plus lidocaine (saline) or methylprednisolone plus lidocaine (steroid) after arthroscopic meniscectomy in which chondromalacia (modified Outerbridge grade 2 or higher) was confirmed. Preoperatively and at follow-up-6 weeks and 6, 9, and 12 months-patients underwent an examination and completed a subjective functioning survey. Scores were calculated using several validated scoring systems including the Lysholm, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), and Short Form-12 (SF-12).


No statistically significant differences were observed between the saline (n = 30) and steroid (n = 29) groups in their demographics and preoperative scores. At 6 weeks, the steroid group had higher scores than the saline group on multiple scales, including the IKDC. No differences in outcome scores existed at later time points. At 12 months, 86% of the steroid and 69% of the saline group were completely or mostly satisfied with the procedure (P = .01). In the saline group, 4 patients required reinjection and 2 underwent joint replacements within 12 months, while the steroid group had 3 reinjections and 2 meniscus transplants.


The addition of a postoperative corticosteroid injection resulted in improved pain and function at an early time point; however, it provided no lasting difference compared with only local anesthetic injection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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