Intra-articular steroid injections are widely used in joint arthritis. The safety of such injections has been questioned as they may increase infection rates in subsequent arthroplasty. We carried out a meta-analysis of studies examining the relation between intra-articular steroid injections and infection rates in subsequent joint arthroplasty. A literature search was undertaken. Eight studies looking at hip and knee arthroplasties were analyzed. Meta-analysis showed that steroid injection had no significant effect on either deep (risk ratio = 1.87; 95% CI 0.80-4.35; P = 0.15) or superficial infection rates (risk ratio = 1.75; 95% CI 0.76-4.04; P = 0.19) of subsequent arthroplasty. Further large cohort studies would be of value in further examining whether steroid injections close to the time of arthroplasty are safe.
Keywords: arthroplasty; infection; injections; intra-articular; steroid.
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