KOA: acupuncture+HA injection tops HA injection alone in meta-analysis

  • Zheng Y & al.
  • Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
  • 1 Jan 2020

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Acupuncture plus hyaluronic acid (HA) injection is more effective than HA injection alone for knee osteoarthritis (KOA), according to a meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Why this matters

  • Results suggest that acupuncture in combination with HA injection is a preferred treatment option, but methodological limitations warrant more research.

Study design

  • A meta-analysis of 10 RCTs involving 998 participants.
  • Primary outcomes were pain by visual analog scale and knee symptoms and function by Lysholm knee score (range 1-100, with higher scores indicating fewer symptoms and better function).
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Acupuncture+HA injection vs HA injection alone yielded superior:
    • Knee symptoms and function:
      • Mean difference (MD), 8.09 (P<.00001>
    • Pain relief:
      • MD, −1.39 (P<.00001>
    • Clinical efficacy rate:
      • Relative risk, 1.23 (P<.00001>

Limitations

  • None of the included studies mentioned blinding.
  • Most included studies had relatively small sample sizes.
  • All studies were from China and may not be applicable to other populations.
  • Heterogeneity across studies.