According to new meta-analysis findings, hyaluronic acid (HA) injections provided significant improvement in pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study’s results, published in “Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders”, are in contrast to an earlier study published in 2012 that included data from many HA products which are not available in the U.S.
The meta-analysis, conducted by Miller Scientific Consulting and The Jon Block Group, comprised 29 randomized studies involving more than 4,500 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Neither HA or saline injections resulted in serious adverse events.
The injections proved effective, resulting in approximately 50 percent improvement in pain and function, although improvements in knee pain and function after HA injections were statistically superior compared to saline injections for both.
The authors acknowledge that the study’s findings have limitations. Their analysis did not include many subjects with severe cases of knee OA. They also noted that efficacy outcomes were inconsistent across studies and that there was evidence of publication bias in OA knee pain outcomes.