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      Unraveling the confusion behind hyaluronic acid efficacy in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis

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          Abstract

          Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a commonly prescribed treatment for knee pain resulting from osteoarthritis (OA). Although numerous HA products have been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration, the efficacy of HA injections for knee OA remains disputed with meta-analyses and societal clinical guidelines drawing disparate conclusions. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recently published a best-evidence systematic review and concluded that available data did not support the routine use of HA for knee OA. The purpose of the current article is to highlight issues that confound interpretation of meta-analyses on HA for knee OA, to provide realistic estimates of the true efficacy of HA injections in knee OA, and to provide commentary on the methods and conclusions from the AAOS systematic review. In general, the clinical benefit of HA is underestimated using conventional meta-analytic techniques. When accounting for differential control group effects in HA studies, it can be reasonably concluded that HA injections may be beneficial to an appreciable number of patients with knee OA. In addition, the systematic review methodology used by AAOS was questionable due to exclusion of numerous relevant studies and inclusion of studies that used HAs not approved for use in the US, both of which underestimated the true efficacy of HA injections. Overall, the efficacy of HA injections for knee OA is likely better than previously reported. Future clinical trials and meta-analyses should account for differential control group effects in order to avoid the continued confusion surrounding HA injection efficacy.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Knee pain and osteoarthritis in older adults: a review of community burden and current use of primary health care.

          Osteoarthritis is the single most common cause of disability in older adults, and most patients with the condition will be managed in the community and primary care. To discuss case definition of knee osteoarthritis for primary care and to summarise the burden of the condition in the community and related use of primary health care in the United Kingdom. Narrative review. A literature search identified studies of incidence and prevalence of knee pain, disability, and radiographic osteoarthritis in the general population, and data related to primary care consultations. Findings from UK studies were summarised with reference to European and international studies. During a one year period 25% of people over 55 years have a persistent episode of knee pain, of whom about one in six in the UK and the Netherlands consult their general practitioner about it in the same time period. The prevalence of painful disabling knee osteoarthritis in people over 55 years is 10%, of whom one quarter are severely disabled. Knee osteoarthritis sufficiently severe to consider joint replacement represents a minority of all knee pain and disability suffered by older people. Healthcare provision in primary care needs to focus on this broader group to impact on community levels of pain and disability.
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            Pathogenesis and management of pain in osteoarthritis.

            The term osteoarthritis describes a common, age-related, heterogeneous group of disorders characterised pathologically by focal areas of loss of articular cartilage in synovial joints, associated with varying degrees of osteophyte formation, subchondral bone change, and synovitis. Joint damage is caused by a mixture of systemic factors that predispose to the disease, and local mechanical factors that dictate its distribution and severity. Various genetic abnormalities have been described, but most sporadic osteoarthritis probably depends on minor contributions from several genetic loci. Osteoarthritic joint damage may be associated with clinical problems, but the severity of joint disease is only weakly related to that of the clinical problem. For this reason the associations and pathogenesis of pain are in as much need of investigation as joint damage. Subchondral bone and synovium may be responsible for nociceptive stimuli, and peripheral neuronal sensitisation is an important feature, and can result in normal activities (such as walking) causing pain. Central pain sensitisation can also occur, and psychosocial factors are important determinants of pain severity. We present a stepwise approach to the management of osteoarthritis.
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              Statsitical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences

               J Cohen,  JL Cohen,  JM Cohen (1988)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2016
                17 June 2016
                : 9
                : 421-423
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Miller Scientific Consulting, Inc., Asheville, NC, USA
                [2 ]Department of Rheumatology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
                [3 ]Northwell Physician Partners, Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Larry E Miller, Miller Scientific Consulting, Inc., 1854 Hendersonville Road, #231, Asheville, NC 28803, USA, Tel +1 828 450 1895, Email larry@ 123456millerscientific.com
                Article
                jpr-9-421
                10.2147/JPR.S110675
                4918943
                27382328
                © 2016 Miller et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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