Intra-articular hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation is gaining popularity as a treatment option in the nonoperative management of patients with osteoarthritis. Recent clinical studies have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory, anabolic, and chondroprotective actions of hyaluronic acid reduce pain and improve patient function. With evidence mounting in support of the efficacy of this treatment modality for patients with osteoarthritis, its potential use in additional patient populations and for other pathologies affecting the knee is being investigated. The current article reviews the use of intra-articular hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation in the management of knee osteoarthritis and presents the potential for expanding its indications for other joints and alternative patient subpopulations. Additionally, future directions for the use of hyaluronic acid and areas of active research are discussed.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2009, 37:1636-1644