Arthritis is a kind of chronic disease that affects joints and muscles with the symptoms of joint pain, inflammation and limited movement of joints. Among various clinical therapies, drug therapy has been extensively applied because of its accessibility, safety and effectiveness. In recent years, the intra-articular injection has dramatic therapeutic effects in treating arthritis with high patient compliance and low side effects. In this review, we will introduce pathology of arthritis, along with the accessible treatment and diagnosis methods, then we will summarize major advances of current hopeful intra-articular delivery systems such as microspheres, hydrogels, nanoparticles and liposomes. At last, some safety assessments in the preclinical work and the main challenges for the further development of intra-articular treatment were also discussed.