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How effective are hyaluronic acid injections for osteoarthritis?

ANSWER

Hyaluronic acid is your body’s natural lubricant that cushions your joints. Injections can help replenish it. Studies show hyaluronic acid injections may work better than painkillers for some people with osteoarthritis. Other studies have shown they also may work as well as corticosteroid knee injections.

Hyaluronic acid injections seem to work better in some people than others. They may be less effective in older adults and people with severe OA.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: ''Intra-articular Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis.''

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: "Viscosupplementation Therapy for Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Study Questions Effectiveness of Viscosupplementation."

Bellamy. , April 19, 2006. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews

Das, A; Neher, JO; and Safrenek, 2009. Journal of Family Practice,

Medscape: "VIscosupplementation in Knee OA May Not Be Worth the Risk."

Rutjes. , Aug. 7, 2012. Annals of Internal Medicine

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 22, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: ''Intra-articular Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis.''

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: "Viscosupplementation Therapy for Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Study Questions Effectiveness of Viscosupplementation."

Bellamy. , April 19, 2006. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews

Das, A; Neher, JO; and Safrenek, 2009. Journal of Family Practice,

Medscape: "VIscosupplementation in Knee OA May Not Be Worth the Risk."

Rutjes. , Aug. 7, 2012. Annals of Internal Medicine

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 22, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What are approved hyaluronic acid injections for osteoarthritis?

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