A recent meta-analysis study indicated that lubricant injections for knee osteoarthritis (OA)are no more effective than placebo.
A very large meta-analysis study showed that these substances provided pain relief within 5 to 13 weeks after injection. Improvement was 28-54% for pain and 9-32% for function.
The efficacy was comparable to that achieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and longer term than that seen with injections of steroids. Steroids do work quicker though.
HA is a major component of normal synovial fluid and provides help with load absorption and also helps with lubrication. HA may also have anti-inflammatory properties. There are some hypotheses that suggest HA stimulates synovial cells to produce synovial fluid, stimulates the growth of cartilage cells, and prevents cartilage degradation.
HA should be administered using ultrasound guidance for the best results.
In our practice, we use Supartz. It seems to work well with very few if any side-effects.
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