Australian Government - Department of Health

Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC)

1176-Assessment of application for Joint Injections

Application Number

Application NameAssessment of application for joint injections
Description of Medical ServiceThe proposed services are for two consultation item numbers on the MBS involving joint injection / aspiration procedures for patients suffering osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis.

Intra-articular corticosteroid injection involves injecting steroid solution directly into the joint space and is used as a short-term treatment for suppressing joint inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis whose symptoms are otherwise well controlled.

Joint aspiration or arthrocentesis, is the process of draining the synovial fluid from a joint. When arthrocentesis is used for diagnostic purposes in patients with arthritis, the synovial fluid is sent to a laboratory for analysis of leukocyte counts, measurement of glucose and protein levels, Gram stain, bacterial culture and other tests as indicated. Synovial fluid analysis is used to broadly characterise the type of arthritis and to establish a diagnosis of septic arthritis, gout or pseudogout.
Description of Medical ConditionOsteoarthritis is the most common type of non-inflammatory arthritis and the most prevalent form of arthritis worldwide. It is characterised by the gradual breakdown of the cartilage lining the ends of the bones in a joint as well as other joint changes such as bone thickening. Osteoarthritis generally affects the hands, spine and weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees, causing pain and stiffness and is more common in women than in men.

The more common forms of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and seronegative spondyloarthropathies, which result from an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues lining the joints.
MSAC OutcomesPublic Summary Document (PSD) - PDF Printable version
Public Summary Document (PSD) - Accessible Word version

Meeting Type:Date:
PASC17 February 2011
ESC 17 - 18 March 2011, 12 - 13 October 2011
MSAC 27 April 2011, 29 November 2011

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