The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 10, 2952 - 2957.e21

Comparison of Low-, Moderate-, and High-Molecular-Weight Hyaluronic Acid Injections in Delaying Time to Knee Surgery

Shewale, Anand R. et al.


We compared the effectiveness of low-molecular-weight (MW) hyaluronic acid (HA) injections (LMWHA), moderate-MW HA injections (MMWHA), and high-MW HA injections (HMWHA) for prevention or delay of knee surgery in patients with knee osteoarthritis.


An observational cohort study using LifeLink Plus claims (2006-2015) was used. The primary outcome measure of the study included all surgical interventions of the knee. The secondary outcome measures were the following: (1) unicompartmental knee arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty and (2) total knee arthroplasty only. A high-dimensional propensity score (hdPS) using 1:1 matching was used to adjust for confounding. The likelihood of each outcome was assessed using Cox proportional hazard models.


A cohort of 30,417 incident HA users with knee osteoarthritis met our inclusion-exclusion criteria. There was no difference in the likelihood of composite surgical events between LMWHA users (hazard ratio, 0.939; 95% confidence interval, 0.870-1.013) and MMWHA users (hazard ratio, 1.032; 95% confidence interval, 0.952-1.119) when compared with HMWHA users in a matched hdPS analysis. However, a significantly lower likelihood for all outcome measures was demonstrated in LMWHA and MMWHA users compared with HMWHA users when hdPS was not used.


There was no significant difference in the likelihood of surgical interventions between LMWHA, MMWHA, and HMWHA users after accounting for empirically derived confounders.

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