Tender shins and steroid therapy

H. A. Smythe, D. Lee, P. Rush, D. Buskila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To quantify previously described shin tenderness in patients receiving chronic steroid therapy, we studied 54 patients, 26 treated with steroid, by dolorimetry at 4 control, 4 'fibrositic,' and 4 shin sites. To measure observer variation, assessments were done by 2 or 3 of 10 observers, one of whom examined each subject. The specific increase of tenderness at shin sites associated with steroid therapy was confirmed, with a mean (SD) threshold in the steroid group of 3.0 (1.7) kg, and in the control group 5.6 (2.4). Other effects which were not site specific were found. There was a 2.0 kg increase in control site tenderness associated with steroid therapy, and a similar general increase in tenderness in patients with lupus and in women, independent of steroid therapy, affecting control as well as fibrositic sites. Underlying mechanisms must act generally as well as being site specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1568-1572
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • dolorimeter
  • fibromyalgia
  • lupus
  • steroid therapy
  • tenderness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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