A prospective study on the effect of corticosteroid injection dosage for hand disorders in non-insulin dependent diabetics

Nikola Lekic, Amar A. Patel, Megan E. Friend, Chester J. Donnally, David L. Chen, Morad Askari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Local administration of corticosteroids is an effective yet potentially dangerous intervention in the treatment of hand disorders in diabetics. Prolonged exposure to hyperglycemia contributes to non-enzymatic glycosylation of various organ systems, which may cause detrimental health effects such as blindness, renal failure, and peripheral neuropathy, contributing to the high cost of health care. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of corticosteroid dosage on serum glucose levels when used to treat common hand disorders in diabetic patients. Twenty-one patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus treated with a corticosteroid injection were prospectively enrolled. Either triamcinolone 10 mg (T-10 group, N = 11) or 40 mg (T-40 group, N = 10) was administered with a local anesthetic. Fasting morning serum glucose, QuickDASH scores, and visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores were recorded prior to injection. Post-prandial serum glucose was recorded the evening of the injection, and the fasting serum glucose was recorded each morning. Clinical outcomes were recorded at 6 weeks and again at an average of 26 months. Patients in both cohorts, on average, had improvements in their Quick-DASH and VAS scores after the injection without significant variation. There was a significant elevation in serum glucose in both groups. T-10 had an average glucose increase of 53 mg/dL (41%), which returned to baseline at 21 hours. T-40 had a maximum glucose increase of 50 mg/dL (40%), which returned to baseline in 58 hours. The difference in time to return to baseline was statistically significance. Both T-10 and T-40 are effective in relieving painful symptoms and improving patient functionality after injection. A lower dosage triamcinolone is associated with a quicker return of serum glucose to baseline and may be a safer alternative to higher dosages when considering prolonged hyperglycemia and its known detrimental effects of non-enzymatic glycosylation on various organ systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-202
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of the Hospital for Joint Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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