Corticosteroid Injections Plus Exercise Ease Achilles Tendinopathy

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2022 — The combination of corticosteroid injections and exercise therapy helps reduce symptoms of long-standing Achilles tendinopathy, according to a study published online July 11 in JAMA Network Open.

In a participant-blinded, physician-blinded, and assessor-blinded randomized clinical trial of patients with Achilles tendinopathy verified by ultrasonography, Finn Johannsen, M.D., from Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues evaluated the effect of corticosteroid injection and exercise therapy (48 patients) compared to placebo injection and exercise therapy (52 patients) for patients with Achilles tendinopathy.

The researchers found that at six months, the group receiving exercise therapy combined with corticosteroid injections had a 17.7-point larger improvement in Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles scores compared with patients receiving exercise therapy combined with placebo injections. Neither group showed severe adverse events or deterioration during two years of follow-up.

“The present study adds to the current knowledge and suggests that corticosteroid injection can play a valuable role in the management of long-standing Achilles tendinopathy when combined with exercise therapy,” the authors write. “A combination of exercise therapy and corticosteroid injection should be considered in the management of long-standing Achilles tendinopathy.”

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