-- Question: Can morphine be injected into the knee joint to treat pain resulting from osteoarthritis?
Answer: Morphine is rarely injected into the knee joint to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. More commonly, we inject steroid medications and viscosupplementation. Steroids commonly referred to as prednisone-like drugs are injected in the knee to help reduce inflammation and >viscosupplementation which is essentially a lubricant for the knee that can be injected and has much the same effects as the steroids in regard to the degree of pain relief and functional outcome.
Those are the two main strategies. Occasionally doctors will also put local anesthetic and sometimes things like morphine to help reduce the pain. But morphine is a short acting drug and the other drugs that we talked about -- the steroids and the viscosupplementation -- have longer lasting effects and those are the more important drugs that are used in the knee.