..We enrolled 156 patients with a mean age of 56 years; 78 patients were assigned to each group. Baseline characteristics, including severity of pain and level of disability, were similar in the two groups. The mean (±SD) baseline WOMAC scores were 108.8±47.1 in the glucocorticoid injection group and 107.1±42.4 in the physical therapy group. At 1 year, the mean scores were 55.8±53.8 and 37.0±30.7, respectively (mean between-group difference, 18.8 points; 95% confidence interval, 5.0 to 32.6), a finding favoring physical therapy. Changes in secondary outcomes were in the same direction as those of the primary outcome. One patient fainted while receiving a glucocorticoid injection.
Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who underwent physical therapy had less pain and functional disability at 1 year than patients who received an intraarticular glucocorticoid injection.