How often cortisone injections are given varies based on the reason for the injection. This is determined on a case-by-case basis by the health care practitioner. If a single cortisone injection is curative, then further injections are unnecessary. Sometimes, a series of injections might be necessary; for example, cortisone injections for a trigger finger may be given every three weeks, to a maximum of three times in one affected finger. In other instances, such as knee osteoarthritis, a second cortisone injection may be given approximately three months after the first injection, but the injections are not generally continued on a regular basis.
Searches were performed using Medline, EMBASE, Web of Knowledge and MeSH search of Pubmed, the last search being performed in August 2012. Search terms included knee osteoarthritis, hip osteoarthritis, corticosteroid and related terms, and intra-articular injection. Papers were selected and reviewed by 2 reviewers. For inclusion, papers were required to describe studies in which patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip received intra-articular corticosteroid injection as an intervention, contain clearly defined outcome measures relating to pain and contain analysis relating to predictors of clinical response to treatment.