Intra-articular steroid injection for osteoarthritis of the hip prior to total hip arthroplasty: IS IT SAFE? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

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Using a systematic review, we investigated whether there is an increased risk of postoperative infection in patients who have received an intra-articular corticosteroid injection to the hip for osteoarthritis prior to total hip arthroplasty (THA).


Studies dealing with an intra-articular corticosteroid injection to the hip and infection following subsequent THA were identified from databases for the period between 1990 to 2013. Retrieved articles were independently assessed for their methodological quality.


A total of nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Two recommended against a steroid injection prior to THA and seven found no risk with an injection. No prospective controlled trials were identified. Most studies were retrospective. Lack of information about the methodology was a consistent flaw.


The literature in this area is scarce and the evidence is weak. Most studies were retrospective, and confounding factors were poorly defined or not addressed. There is thus currently insufficient evidence to conclude that an intra-articular corticosteroid injection administered prior to THA increases the rate of infection. High quality, multicentre randomised trials are needed to address this issue.

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