Hyaluronic Acid for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Repeated Injections and Progression to Knee Replacement

Judith Walsh, MD, MPH



In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) is requested to review the scientific evidence for the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Several prior reviews and meta-analyses including two done by The Blue Cross Blue Shield Technology Evaluation Center have concluded that despite study flaws, there is a positive effect of hyaluronic acid on the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.[1,2] Although there is evidence that injections of hyaluronic acid can improve symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, other questions remain. In this review, CTAF will specifically focus on the efficacy of repeat injections of HA and whether or not repeated injections of intra-articular HA can slow the progression of OA or reduce the need for joint replacement. This is the first time that CTAF has addressed this topic.


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