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Non-Operative Management of Arthritis with Dr. Ronald Hillock- Part Four

Ronald W. Hillock, M.D.

Non-Operative Management Option 4: Injections

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common conditions I am asked to evaluate and treat. It is estimated that 27 million Americans are currently living with the pain of osteoarthritis. Patients seeking treatment for the arthritis represent about 25% of all visits to primary care clinics. 1

Globally there are about 250 million who live with the daily pain of Osteoarthritis (OA), which is roughly 3.6% of the world’s population.2 If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with OA of the knee or hip (or both) there are several non-operative medical treatment options that should be used before considering surgery.

Many injectable medications can be used in the treatment of arthritis of the knee, hip or any other joint as well. These injections are designed to improve comfort or reduce pain. They will not reverse the process of arthritis, but they do improve function by reducing pain. They fall into two large classes corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid.

Corticosteroids

Medications used to reduce inflammation by direct injection into an affected joint. These injections can be repeated at three month intervals if they are providing relief.3 

Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Biological lubrication also refered to as viscosupplementation, injected into arthritic knees. HA has not proven effective in the treatment of hip arthritis. The formulation of HA that I use most often is Euflexxa®.

Learn more about treating arthritis or would like an appointment with Dr. Hillock


References

1. “Table 9: Estimated prevalence of moderate and severe disability (millions) for leading disabling conditions by age, for high-income and low- and middle-income countries, 2004”The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 Update. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2008. p. 35.

2. Vos T, Flaxman AD, Naghavi M, Lozano R, Michaud C, Ezzati M et al. (December 2012). “Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010”. Lancet 380 (9859): 2163–96. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61729-2PMID 23245607

3. Arroll B, Goodyear-Smith F (April 2004). “Corticosteroid injections for osteoarthritis of the knee: meta-analysis”BMJ 328 (7444): 869. doi:10.1136/bmj.38039.573970.7CPMC 387479PMID 15039276

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