Your Guide to Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis

Your Guide to Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis

Injections of cortisone, hyaluronic acid, and platelet-rich plasma can help control knee pain, swelling, and stiffness. Here’s how to make sense of your options and choose the best approach for you.

When osteoarthritis first starts to rear its (painful) head, you might be able to manage the symptoms by popping an anti-inflammatory medication, trying physical therapy, or finding ways to ease the cumulative stress that’s placed on your knees.

But because knee osteoarthritis worsens over time, it’s important to be aware of your symptoms and set up a treatment plan sooner rather than later. “There are no curative strategies for knee osteoarthritis,” says Scott C. Faucett, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics in Washington, DC. “For now, there are only management strategies.”

If you’re not ready to consider knee replacement surgery, but the pain, swelling, and stiffness are slowing you down, you might want to consider having injections into the osteoarthritic knee, Dr. Faucett says.

There are three types of injections that are currently supported by good quality studies, he says: cortisone shots, injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) supplements, and injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Here is what to know about each type of injection.

Cortisone Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis

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