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Intra-Articular Hyaluronic Acid for Osteoarthritis of the Hip or Ankle: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness

Last updated: July 11, 2019
Project Number: RC1154-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of intra-articular hyaluronic acid for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or ankle joint?

Key Message

One systematic review (SR) on the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid for pain and discomfort associated with hip osteoarthritis and one SR for pain associated with ankle osteoarthritis were included. With respect to osteoarthritis in the hip, no significant differences in pain or adverse events were found when compared with placebo or with methylprednisolone and no differences in function or patients’ global assessment were found when compared with methylprednisolone. For osteoarthritis of the ankle, the injection of hyaluronic acid was significantly associated with an improvement in measures of pain and disability scores when compared with saline. The results of this review should be interpreted with consideration limitations that include that the dosages of hyaluronic acid were not described in detail and that many of the studies included in the SRs were case series. Further evidence on the clinical effectiveness of hyaluronic acid in Canada may help to reduce the uncertainties in health policy making.