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Large Joints Feature

Sodium Hyaluronate injection into the Knee / Source: Wikimedia Commons and Harry Gouvas

HA Injections Ease Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

Biloine W. Young • Fri, September 27th, 2013

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Have a patient troubled with mild to moderate pain caused by knee osteoarthritis? Try intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections (HA). A new meta-analysis of 29 randomized studies involving more than 4, 500 patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) found that intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections provided significant improvement in pain and function compared to saline injections. Medical News Today reported the study was published in the current issue of Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Mark A. Snyder, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon from the TriHealth Orthopedic and Spine Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, said, “The data set is consistent with what I and many other physicians have clinically observed for many years—HAs have been found to be safe, can help relieve knee pain from osteoarthritis, and are appropriate treatment for people with mild to moderate forms of the disease."

Neither HA or saline injections resulted in serious adverse events. Researchers found very large treatment effects between four and 26 weeks for knee pain and function which represented approximately a 50% improvement in pain and function from baseline with viscosupplementation. Improvements in knee pain and function with viscosupplementation were statistically superior compared to saline injections.

"Studies such as this are critical in helping physicians and patients make informed decisions, " said Snyder. "Currently, there are limited treatment options available to healthy people with mild to moderate OA. Access to HA treatments is a great option for those who are seeking help in staying active."

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that affects 27 million Americans. The most common joint to be affected is the knee. Advancing age, previous joint trauma and genetic predisposition are all risk factors while obesity contributes to the diseases’ progression.

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