The Annals of Internal Medicine published a meta- analysis comparing the various treatment options available for patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) suffering from pain. The winner was an injection of hyaluronic acid into the affected knee, followed closely by corticosteroids knee injections. They compared knee injections with oral pain medications like acetaminophen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen and celebrex. As expected oral acetaminophen, which is not an anti-inflammatory, offered the least benefit.
The analysis included nearly 140 randomized trials involving some 33,000 adults with primary knee OA.
In terms of pain, all active treatments were statistically significantly better than oral placebo, with acetaminophen providing the least benefit and hyaluronic acid providing the greatest.