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Does chondrolysis occur after corticosteroid-analgesic injections? An analysis of patients treated for adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder

Does chondrolysis occur after corticosteroid-analgesic injections? An analysis of patients treated for adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder

Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 25(6): 890-897

Clinical studies using continuous infusions of local anesthetics and basic science studies that model injections of local anesthetics have shown chondrotoxicity. However, clinical studies do not exist that have assessed for the risk of chondrolysis in nonarthritic joints exposed to single or intermittent corticosteroid or analgesic injections. Currently, there are no data available to guide the clinician on the safety of using these injections in clinical practice. A retrospective review of patients treated for adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder with at least 1 intra-articular injection of a corticosteroid and anesthetic was performed. The inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis and a minimum 2-year follow-up. Prospective follow-up was performed to obtain patient-determined outcome scores, range of motion, and radiographs to determine the presence of chondrolysis. Fifty-six patients with a mean age of 52.5 ± 7.2 years were enrolled at a mean follow-up of 54 months. The mean number of injections performed was 1.5 ± 0.7 (range, 1-4). At final follow-up, the mean Western Ontario Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder score was 91.4% ± 14.2%; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score, 6.7 ± 9.6; Shoulder Pain and Disability Index score, 7.4 ± 11.4; and Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation score, 92.7% ± 10.1%. The Shoulder Activity Score was 8.3 ± 4.7. Passive and active forward elevation, external rotation, internal rotation, and cross-body adduction showed no significant differences compared with the unaffected contralateral shoulder. There was no radiographic evidence of chondrolysis in any patient. This study did not show chondrolysis in patients treated with an intra-articular corticosteroid and local anesthetic for adhesive capsulitis. The findings of this study do not support the cessation of using intra-articular analgesic-corticosteroid injections for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis. Level IV; Case Series; Treatment Study.

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Accession: 057652011

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PMID: 26803933

DOI: 10.1016/j.jse.2015.10.004

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