Study examines possible pain treatment for patients with arthritis in their knees
Thursday, September 22, 2022

By Liz Bonis, WKRC

Read the full article HERE.

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Local sports medicine specialists are sharing research, they say, will help your knees.

A study looked at what may and may not work for you if you have osteoarthritis of the knee.

It was specifically looking at viscosupplementation, or using injections of hyaluronic acid (HA) to see if it could help reduce pain.

"The idea is to put healthy fluid into the joint to decrease the pain," said OrthoCincy sports medicine specialist Dr. Angel Velazquez-Santiago.

Dr. Velazquez-Santiago says this kind of arthritis is painful, and often happens when you've had an old injury, or the tissues in the joint break down over time.

"So, that meniscus starts losing their height, and it starts getting smaller, smaller, smaller, and then the bone starts getting closer, closer, closer," he said.

That's when an injection of HA might be used to treat pain.

However, a study in the British Medical Journal found after reviewing nearly 9,000 patients who had osteoarthritis, and comparing HA injections to a placebo, there was no significant difference in patient pain.

Still, Dr. Velazquez-Santiago says sometimes patients do find the injections helpful in maintaining pain reduction from other treatments that reduce pain and swelling -- which do work.

"At the end of the day, we are trying to decrease the inflammatory cells for a longer time," he said.

Dr. Velazquez-Santiago says what's contributing to your pain will likely determine whether or not you are a candidate to receive these injections.