Corticosteroid Meniscectomy Randomized Trial

Study Purpose

Synovitis has an important role in the symptoms and progression of Osteoarthritis (OA). Inflamed synovium has been associated with both increased symptoms and increased progression in OA patients. Furthermore, synovitis observed during knee arthroscopy in our patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) was associated with worse symptoms while adjusting for confounding factors.Therefore, a better understanding of synovitis as a predictor of outcome after APM and as a target for treatment is needed to improve outcomes in this patient population. Triamcinolone has been shown to decrease synovitis-associated outcomes in both animal and human studies after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. In a porcine model of ACL injury, treatment with triamcinolone resulted in decreased formation of synovitis-related collagen breakdown products as well as decreased cellularity of the synovium.And in a trial of triamcinolone injected after ACL injury, similar findings of decreased C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II), associated with collagen type II breakdown, was found in knees administered triamcinolone compared to placebo controls.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 40 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Male or female age 40 and older. 2. Scheduled for APM with enrolling surgeon. 3. Arthroscopic evidence of structural OA including at least one surface with grade 2 chondral change. 4. Written informed consent (and assent when applicable) obtained from subject or subject's legal representative and ability for subject to comply with the requirements of the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Females who are pregnant or nursing or plan to become pregnant during the study; men who plan to inseminate a partner or donate sperm. 2. Presence of a condition or abnormality that in the opinion of the Investigator would compromise the safety of the patient or the quality of the data. 3. Known or suspected hypersensitivity to Zilretta (or component of Zilretta) or triamcinolone acetonide. 4. Kellgren and Lawrence Grade IV (severe OA; arthroplasty is typically preferred over APM in this setting) 5. Injection with corticosteroid into affected knee in past 12 weeks. 6. Injection with platelet rich plasma into affected knee in past 12 weeks. 7. Injection with hyaluronic acid into affected knee in past 24 weeks. 8. Plan for cartilage resurfacing procedure (microfracture, autologous chondrocyte implantation, osteochondral autograft or allograft), ligament reconstruction or other open procedure. 9. Bilateral surgery. 10. Unable to undergo MRI due to implanted medical device, aneurysm clamp, metal fragments in eye, etc. 11. Absence of at least one area of grade 2 chondral change on diagnostic arthroscopy (patients without structural OA are excluded)

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Phase 4
Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

The Cleveland Clinic
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Morgan Jones, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator Affiliation Brigham and Women's Hospital
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Enrolling by invitation
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Osteoarthritis, Knee, Meniscus Tear, Meniscus; Degeneration, Synovitis
Additional Details

Symptomatic meniscal tear with pain and mechanical symptoms of catching and locking ,a phenotype of early OA, and often prompts patients who have failed physical therapy to elect APM to improve their symptoms. This arthroscopic surgery presents a unique opportunity to evaluate the intraarticular status of the joint including joint fluid biomarkers and synovial tissue for signs of inflammation in patients with mild to moderate OA. Since no post-op tissue repair is desired after APM, in contrast to other post-traumatic OA (PTOA) models such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, the APM cohort can be used to test novel interventions to slow down PTOA development by suppressing synovitis and inflammation. Results from this trial in this patient population could be applied to the broader population of many millions of patients with mild to moderate OA who never undergo arthroscopy. There are currently approximately 1,000,000 APMs performed in the United States each year, and about 70 percent of patients have a clinically significant improvement in symptoms after surgery. Much of this variation in outcome is unexplained but is hypothesized to be related to synovitis and joint inflammation that is currently unmeasured and untreated in usual clinical care. This is a randomized controlled trial of extended release triamcinolone for efficacy to improve patient reported outcome measures after APM. The investigators will evaluate joint fluid and synovial tissue biomarkers to assess joint inflammation as a predictor of treatment response, use quantitative 3T MRI to evaluate cartilage and meniscus composition and 3D bone shape, which are sensitive imaging markers for early joint degeneration, and use a prospective surgical episode data collection system to capture patient reported outcomes and surgeon reported operative data.

Arms & Interventions


Experimental: corticosteroid

Triamcinolone extended release (32 mg) administered as an intraarticular injection at the conclusion of arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain at 6 and 12 months T1ρ and T2 imaging of cartilage and meniscus at 3 and 12 months Morphologic grading of cartilage using the MOAKS score at 3 and 12 months 3D bone shape from MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score (MOAKS) using statistical shape modeling at 3 and 12 months Improvement in blood, serum and urine inflammatory biomarker profiles at 3 and 12 months

Placebo Comparator: Placebo

Normal saline of 5 mL administered as an intraarticular injection at the conclusion of arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. KOOS pain at 6 and 12 months T1ρ and T2 imaging of cartilage and meniscus at 3 and 12 months Morphologic grading of cartilage using the MOAKS score at 3 and 12 months 3D bone shape from MRI using statistical shape modeling at 3 and 12 months Improvement in blood, serum and urine inflammatory biomarker profiles at 3 and 12 months


Drug: - Zilretta Injectable Product or Placebo

The purpose of this intervention is to determine the use of extended release steroid knee injection (Zilretta) at the end of the surgery and its effects on your knee pain.In this study Zilretta will be injected intra-operatively for your arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) surgery.Participants will have MRIs x-rays, and provide a sample of the synovial fluid from both knees at the beginning of surgery. This fluid is drained at the beginning of surgery and then usually discarded. Three samples each of blood and urine will be collected over the study period from each participant and sample of joint (synovial tissue) taken. Participants will be asked to answer questions about knee pain.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio



Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Cleveland, Ohio, 44195