Background: Osteoarthritis of the finger proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPJ's) is common and severely limits hand function. Intra-articular steroid injections are frequently used, but there is little research assessing this treatment option.
Methods: This was a prospective audit of patients undergoing intra-articular steroid injections into the PIPJ under image intensifier guidance. The aims were to assess the duration of pain relief, hand function and range of movement following this procedure. Fifty injected joints were followed up at six weeks, three and six months.
Results: There were significant improvements in both pain scores and the range of movement for up to three months. Analgesia requirements decreased and hand function improved up to three months. By six months, patients were approaching their preinjection scores.
Conclusions: X-ray guided injections are a simple procedure which can be effectively performed in the out-patient setting, resulting in satisfied patients with improved hand function and pain scores.
- Interphalangeal joint
- Steroid injection
- X-ray guided