Research into the Efficacy of Hyaluronic Acid Knee Injections Continues
Hyaluronic acid, a key component of human tissue, aiding the body’s flexibility, mobility and moisture retention is a popular component of many anti-aging products but can also provide a wealth of benefits in the medical sphere. Recently, in an attempt to find effective treatment methods for arthritis, scientists have found a strong association between levels of Hyaluronic acid and severe knee and hip arthritis known as osteoarthritis or OA.
The study, conducted by researches from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center, utilized a diverse subject base of blood samples from 753 white and black American men and women. This research is part of the hope that early identification and intervention can improve outcomes for people with OA, a common cause of pain and disability among older Americans. The findings suggest that measuring levels of Hyaluronic acid could allow doctors to help prevent joint destruction before it can be measured on an X-ray image.
In a similar vein, Hyaluronic acid injections have been prescribed by doctors for over 20 years as a method for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Hyaluronic acid is thought to restore elasticity to the synovial fluid that surrounds the knee joint, which is depleted in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. However, there is continued debate as to the efficacy of these treatments. Recently, French researchers compared the safety and effectiveness of the NRD101 Hyalauronic acid knee injection with an orally administered drug, diacerein, shown by past research to have a structural benefit in hip osteoarthritis.
Three hundred one patients were randomly assigned to receive three courses of NRD101 injections, each involving one injection weekly for three weeks, every three months, along with a placebo capsule; placebo injections and diacerein twice daily; or placebo injections and capsules. Symptoms were evaluated both by patients and clinicians, and X-rays were performed to evaluate the effects of treatment on the knee structure at the beginning and end of the study. Patients in all three groups reported improvement of their symptoms and few patients dropped out of the study, which suggests injections are a feasible approach to treating knee osteoarthritis. However, the doctors did conclude that further studies were needed to evaluate other treatment approaches using this route of administration
Furthermore, based on research by the publication American Family Physician, although clinical experience and studies of available Hyaluronic acid injection products including hyaluronan and hylan G-F 20, are inconclusive, they appear to produce beneficial effects with minimal adverse reactions in a significant number of patients. Thus, although research is ongoing into the benefits of Hyaluronic acid knee injections, it is clear that the injections are at present a viable alternative to orally administered arthritis relief.