Liquid injections may not help to treat knee osteoarthritis

The Washington Post reports that a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that fluid injections known as viscosupplementation may not be helpful in treating knee osteoarthritis.

The study found that “during a follow-up period of about four months, people who had viscosupplementation reported slightly less pain than the others, though the decrease was described as ‘clinically irrelevant.’ No improvement was found in use of the knee.”

Reuters notes that the researchers also observed that the injections also may carry side effects such as swelling and inflammation of the joint shortly after treatment.

Medscape adds that “the reviewers also found that viscosupplementation was associated with an increase in risk for flare-ups that was not statistically significant, as well as with a significantly increased risk for serious adverse events. The most common adverse events were related to the gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, cancer, and musculoskeletal system.”

The researchers wrote that “because of increased risks for serious adverse events and local adverse events, the administration of these preparations should be discouraged.”

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2 Responses to Liquid injections may not help to treat knee osteoarthritis

  1. Barbara says:

    to Walt
    Dr. Walt, I’m curious as to what the viscosupplementation injections are. I recently had Syn-Visc one injections in both knees and they have helped tremendously with the stiffness in my knees. I really am not in a lot of pain, just a lot of stiffness. I can move with more ease since having the injections. I have had no adverse side effects and they have really helped stabilize my knees as my right knee has very little cartilage left due to 2 tears that were repaired z year ago. Are these the injections to which you are referring?! Thank-you so very kindly for your time!! Barbara

  2. Dr. Walt says:

    Barb, yes, SynVisc is a viscosupplement and would be included in the class studied.

    Dr. Walt

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