OEBB

Risks and benefits

Results of some studies have shown that hyaluronan injections have improved the symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint function in some people. Results in other studies suggest that if there is any benefit from these injections, it is very small. Hylan may have more risk of increased symptoms or fluid in the joint after injection, and it does not appear to work better than other hyaluronan products.

Viscosupplements may be useful in the short-term, but their effectives over longer periods of time is not yet known. Specifically, doctors are uncertain how the use of viscosupplements over a long period of a person’s life will affect the person’s health. Research is also not clear on how viscosupplementation affects the long-term course of OA of the knee. While it does provide some comfort and pain relief for some patients with mild to moderate OA, it may not prevent or even delay the likelihood a patient will need knee-replacement surgery at a later point in their life.

Side Effects
The most common side effects of an injection are pain at injection site, localized itching, skin irritation at injection site, swelling of the knee, redness or bruising, headache, joint stiffness and tenderness around the joint

Resources

Please visit these resources for more information:

Viscosupplementation for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Center for Evidence-based Policy. March 17, 2010. Oregon Health Sciences University

Osteoarthritis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayo Clinic

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