New Study Sheds Light on Hip Osteoarthritis Treatment
Hyaluronic acid or HA injections are commonly prescribed for a variety of orthopedic issues, including osteoarthritis. However, research suggests that these injections will not treat chronically painful orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis and only provide temporary relief.
A new study compared HA and Platelet-rich plasma injections for treating hip osteoarthritis. The researchers found that half of hip osteoarthritis patients who received HA injections quit the trial and decided to have surgery. Only 11% of participants who received PRP chose surgery.
Additionally, according to Dr. Kraeutler — one of the doctors who conducted the study — the PRP group improved significantly more than the HA group over the course to the study.
“The [hyaluronic acid] HA group actually showed a decline . . .” Dr. Kreautler told Orthopedics Today.
Why is PRP Better than HA?
We all have hyaluronic acid in our bodies. This fluid supports normal, healthy movement by cushioning and lubricating our joints. However, this natural cushion thins as we age, causing osteoarthritis. Therefore, an HA injection boosts your body’s natural supply. Indeed, these injections are called visco-supplements because they supplement the fluid in your joints.
Unfortunately, HA injections such as Euflexxa or Synvysc do not treat osteoarthritis. However, they may offer patients an alternative to potentially addictive pain medication. Also, patients may choose HA injections to delay surgery. This explains the overall decline reported in the study.
PRP and HA injections work differently. Platelet-rich plasma is made by concentrating patients’ own blood. Human blood is a mixture of many cells, including cells that can reboot the body’s natural healing process. By spinning patients’ blood in a centrifuge, we can concentrate these helpful cells and healing factors into a potent remedy for osteoarthritis.