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19-05-2011 | Orthopaedics | Article

Corticosteroid therapy offers short-term trochanter pain relief


Free abstract

MedWire News: Corticosteroid injections offer short-term relief to patients with greater trochanter pain syndrome (GTPS), suggest Dutch clinical trial results.

Overall, 55% of 60 patients given open-label 5-ml injections of triamcinolone acetate (40 mg) plus 1% or 2% lidocaine showed a strong or total recovery at the 3-month check-up compared with just 34% of 60 patients given usual care, consisting of analgesic treatment when necessary.

Extent of recovery was not significantly affected by baseline factors such as age, gender, body mass index, duration of GTPS, or the presence of comorbid back pain or hip osteoarthritis.

Patients given the corticosteroid injections also experienced a greater improvement in pain scores at rest and during activity than controls at 3 months, although this difference did not reach statistical significance.

One year after treatment, however, there was no significant difference between the injection and control groups in terms of full recovery (61% vs 60%) or in pain severity experienced at rest or during activity.

Forty per cent of patients given corticosteroid treatment reported transient, superficial pain at the injection site but no other adverse affects.

"The application of corticosteroid injections made no difference in the long-term resolution of pain, but the injection gave patients early relief," comment Aaltien Brinks (Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam) and co-authors.

"Although these effects have been assessed in only one trial, physicians now have a more evidence-based rationale for offering corticosteroid injections to patients with symptoms of GTPS for the short-term relief of symptoms."

The study is reported in the Annals of Family Medicine.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Lynda Williams

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