When noninvasive or nonoperative treatment fails, patients may want to try injections. Steroid injection or alternately, the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) may be considered. With your physician's help, you'll be able to decide which treatment option might be best for you.
Local injection of steroids has some long-term side effects if used too often. But one to three injections can help break the pain cycle caused by inflammation.
HA injections have become an accepted form of treatment for patients who have GI intolerance of nonsteroidal antiinflammatories (NSAIDs). Studies show HA injections are safe and effective. The only downside is that the results (improvement) may be small.
HA injections aren't a cure for osteoarthritis (OA). Regular, moderate exercise is still highly recommended for the long-term management of OA. Weight loss, good hydration and nutrition, and physical therapy may also help improve your symptoms and function.