Intra-articular injections with steroids may offer additional help in the treatment of inflammatory joint diseases. The major side effects are the systemic effects of steroids, infectious arthritis and cartilage damage. These are infrequent, however, and to a great extent preventable. Steroids are of little effect in radiological progression and function, and this is the most important limitation on liberal use. On the other hand, they powerfully suppress inflammation and pain, for a varying length of time which depends on the preparation used.