The antirheumatic effect of cortisone administered parenterally or orally has been documented in numerous reports1 during the past two years, but little has been written about cortisone administered locally into the arthritic joint. Apparently Thorn2 was the first to instill an adrenal cortical hormone directly into a rheumatoid arthritic joint. Early in 1950 he injected 10 mg. of hydrocortisone (17-hydroxycorticosterone or compound F) into the inflamed knee of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and noted a prompt local alleviating effect. Since this was coincident with a general improvement in the condition of the patient, it was felt that the action was systemic and no further experiments were conducted along this line.
Cortisone has been used locally with encouraging results in various inflammatory diseases of the eye.3 Some reports have claimed benefit from direct application of cortisone in certain skin diseases.4
Since a locally used anti-inflammatory agent
Hollander JL, Brown EM, Jessar RA, Brown CY. HYDROCORTISONE AND CORTISONE INJECTED INTO ARTHRITIC JOINTS: COMPARATIVE EFFECTS OF AND USE OF HYDROCORTISONE AS A LOCAL ANTIARTHRITIC AGENT. JAMA. 1951;147(17):1629–1635. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670340019005
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