Use of Hyaluronic Gel Inections for Knee Arthritis

  1. There are many different manufacturers and forms of the gel injection which vary from a single injection, to three injections to five injections. An insurance company will inform the patient on the type of gel shot approved based on agreements between the manufacturer and the insurance company.
  2. Be sure and inform your doctor if you are allergic to eggs or chicken products as some of the products represent a chicken derived and processed product. There are artificial forms of the Gel that avoid this issue.
  3. Most clinical studies will show a benefit of the Gel in 70% of patients in decreasing but not entirely eliminating pain symptoms. The injection can be repeated if necessary at 6-month intervals.
  4. In the past 5 years there were a few clinical studies that showed no major benefit of the Gel knee injection and this led some insurance companies to deny coverage. This has been an unfortunate situation as I have had the opposite experience of the Gel injections helping a majority of my patients.
  5. As the knee arthritis progresses to a bone-on-bone advanced condition these injections may not provide a benefit and the most benefit occurs before advanced arthritis.
  6. The risks of the injection are very rare and mainly the very rare occurrence of an infection that may occur anytime a body part is entered with a needle. On rare occurrence there may occur an allergic reaction to the Gel shot which requires immediate treatment with Benadryl or oral steroids.

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