Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Izmir, Turkey
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The goal of this study has been to determine whether hyaluronic acid (HA) or exercise therapy can improve functional parameters in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the ankle.
In a prospective clinical trial, 43 ankles (30 patients) with radiographic Kellgren Lawrence grade III OA were randomized to receive three intra-articular HA injections, with one-week interval of or exercise therapy for six weeks. Patients were evaluated by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Ankle-Hindfoot Scale and followed-up after 12 months.
Total AOFAS Ankle-Hindfoot score of OA patients has improved in both groups, varying from 61.6±16.8 to 90.1±9.7 with HA treatment and from 72.1±16.6 to 87.5±17.5 using exercise therapy at the end of the trial (p<0.01). There were no statistically significant differences between the groups.
This prospective randomized trial confirmed that, both HA injections and exercise therapy provide functional improvement. However, larger trials with longer follow-up are necessary for more definite conclusions.
PMID: 18565251 [PubMed]