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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Weakness After an Intra-articular Steroid Injection: A Case Report of Acute Steroid-induced Myopathy

  • Author(s): Jordan, Matthew;
  • Hensley, Lauren;
  • Jackson, Michael
  • et al.

Introduction: Weakness is a common chief complaint in the emergency department, and the use of glucocorticoids is pervasive in medicine. Muscle weakness, or myopathy, is a well documented side effect of chronic glucocorticoid use. However, acute myopathy, with an onset shortly after initiation of glucocorticoids, is much rarer.

Case Report: We present a case of acute steroid-induced myopathy after a single intra-articular dose of triamcinolone in a young, healthy, active male. To our knowledge, this is the first case described in the medical literature of acute steroid-induced myopathy following a single intra-articular injection.

Conclusion: In a patient who presents with proximal muscle weakness and has a history of glucocorticoid use, the diagnosis of steroid-induced myopathy should be considered. Acute steroid-induced myopathy should be high on the differential in a patient who presents with typical symptoms and has been prescribed glucocorticoids for less than 14 days or, in rare cases, may have recently received a single dose of glucocorticoids. Treatment is supportive and outpatient management is typically indicated, as respiratory muscle involvement is rare.

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