Hyaluronic acid vs platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of hip osteoarthritis

In research surrounding Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, doctors in Italy evaluated the effectiveness of intra-articular platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in patients with hip osteoarthritis. This was a comparison study of PRP and Hyaluronic Acid .

A total of 111 patients were randomly assigned to 3 different study groups and each received 3 weekly injections of either

  • PRP  (44 patients),
  • PRP + Hyaluronic Acid  (31 patients),
  • or Hyaluronic Acid alone(36 patients).

The idea behind hyaluronic acid injections is to protect the hip by injecting a lubricant.

  • At all follow-ups, the PRP group had the lowest pain assessment scores
  • Significant improvements were achieved in reducing pain and improving quality of life and functional recovery.

The conclusion the doctors reached was that their results indicated that intra-articular PRP injections offer a significant clinical improvement in patients with hip osteoarthritis without relevant side effects.

The benefit was significantly more stable up to 12 months as compared with the other tested treatments. The addition of PRP + Hyaluronic Acid did not lead to a significant improvement in pain symptoms.1

In another study in the medical journal Orthopedics, doctors said both PRP and Hyaluronic acid both worked well for patients with hip osteoarthritis, these researchers however offered a conflicting assessment.

Intra-articular injections of platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid represent effective medical treatments for osteoarthritis. This study’s goals were to compare the clinical efficacy of platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid at 12 month follow-up in hip osteoarthritis patients

One hundred patients with chronic hip were consecutively enrolled and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups:

  • group A received PRP and
  • group B received hyaluronic acid
  • both administered via intra-articular ultrasound-guided injections.
  • Patients were evaluated at baseline and after 1, 3, 6, and 12 months
  • Despite a slightly progressive worsening between 6- and 12-month follow-up, the final clinical scores remained higher compared with baseline with no significant differences between PRP and hyaluronic acid. Regarding clinical temporal evolution, multivariate analysis showed that HHS was not influenced by the type of infiltration, patient age, sex, body mass index, or degree of OA, whereas a significant association was detected between

The conclusion these researchers reached was: Intra-articular injections of PRP are effective in terms of functional improvement and pain reduction but are not superior to hyaluronic acid in patients with symptomatic hip osteoarthritis at 12-month follow-up.2

The idea behind hyaluronic acid injections is to protect the hip by injecting a lubricant.

1 Dallari D, Stagni C, Rani N, Sabbioni G, Pelotti P, Torricelli P, Tschon M, Giavaresi G.Ultrasound-Guided Injection of Platelet-Rich Plasma and Hyaluronic Acid, Separately and in Combination, for Hip Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Study. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Mar;44(3):664-71. doi: 10.1177/0363546515620383. Epub 2016 Jan 21. [Pubmed]

2 Battaglia M, Guaraldi F, Vannini F, Rossi G, Timoncini A, Buda R, Giannini S. Efficacy of ultrasound-guided intra-articular injections of platelet-rich plasma versus hyaluronic acid for hip osteoarthritis. Orthopedics. 2013 Dec;36(12):e1501-8. [Pubmed]


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