Adding corticosteroids to intra-operative periarticular injections in total knee arthroplasty: A systematic review

Jared D. Wainwright, Zbigniew Gugala, Chad A. Krueger, Joseph C. Wenke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Adding corticosteroids to intraoperative periarticular injections (PAIs) have become a current trend in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Periarticular corticosteroid injections (PACSIs) intend to improve postoperative pain and function. However, preoperative corticosteroid injections for symptomatic arthritis increase the rates of prosthetic joint infection (PJI) when given months prior to TKA. The aim of this systematic review was to determine whether the addition of corticosteroids to PAIs during TKA improves patient outcomes and whether such practice increases the risk of PJI? Methods: A systematic review of the current literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines screened 1025 abstracts. Thirteen studies meeting specific eligibility criteria were included for further analysis. Results: Among the studies comparing the PACSIs versus nonsteroidal PAIs, 36% showed a significant reduction in postoperative pain scores, 20% showed significant improvement in range of motion (ROM), and 16% showed a significant reduction in total morphine equivalence (TME). While 100% of the studies comparing PACSI to saline or no injections showed significant improvement in pain, ROM and TME. In total, there were 3 infections in 576 TKA cases receiving PACSIs and 2 infections in 534 cases not receiving a PACSI. However, studies were not powered specifically to assess for infection. Conclusions: The addition of corticosteroids to intraoperative PAIs do not demonstrate a significant benefit in the majority of studies, and tend to not have an effect on PJI risk; however, studies were not specifically powered to assess PJI risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Aug 2024


  • Corticosteroids
  • Patient reported outcomes
  • Periarticular injection
  • Prosthetic joint infection
  • Systematic review
  • Total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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