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Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin (ISPM)



13.06.2012 09:25

Viscosupplementation for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

ISPM researchers have found that the use of viscosupplementation, the intra-articular injection of hylaruonic acid, does not result in a clinically relevant benefit, but is associated with an increased risk for serious adverse events.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease and the leading cause of pain and physical disability in older people. Viscosupplementation has been used for decades to reduce pain and increase physical function. However, published trials showed conflicting results.

The musculoskeletal research group at ISPM Bern summarized the benefits and risks of viscosupplementation and published their results in Annals of Internal Medicine. They found 89 trials in 12 667 patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Large studies of high quality did not suggest that viscosupplementation had a clinically relevant effect on pain or function. However, the authors found an an increased risk of adverse events associated with viscosupplementation, including flare-ups and effusions, and serious adverse events.

Based on these findings, the authors discourage the use of viscosupplementation for knee osteoarthritis.


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