Q:

How effective are gel shots for knee arthritis?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2015, clinical evidence from published medical literature indicate that intra-articular administration of hyaluronic acid does not provide significant health benefits for patients with knee arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis of the knee, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. However, there are documented cases where patients experienced success with this treatment.

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Full Answer

The efficacy of viscosupplementation, which involves injecting the gel-like fluid hyaluronic acid into osteoarthritic knee joints, varies between individuals. An estimated 30 percent of patients experience symptomatic relief for up to 2 years, while 20 percent show no marked improvement in their condition, claims Dr. Roy Altman, a rheumatologist from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers from one study concluded that viscosupplementation was as ineffective as a placebo injection of salt water, notes WebMD. Since study results often vary, additional research is required to fully establish the efficacy of viscosupplementation, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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