Pilot investigation of hyaluronate injections for first metacarpal-carpal (MC-C) osteoarthritis

J Clin Rheumatol. 2004 Apr;10(2):59-62. doi: 10.1097/01.rhu.0000120894.49180.99.


Hyaluronate intraarticular injections are widely used for treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, but there is no published literature on its use in osteoarthritis of the hand. We describe an open-label, baseline-controlled pilot study in which 5 weekly injections of 10 mg sodium hyaluronate (molecular weight 500-730 kDa) in 1 mL was used to treat 16 patients with osteoarthritic first metacarpal-carpal (MC-C) joints. The injections were performed easily and were well tolerated. Mean pain score at 5 months after the last injection, on a 10-point visual analog scale, decreased from 4.74 to 2.56 at rest. Pain on use decreased from 5.91 to 4.33. Pinch strength and a short questionnaire on hand function did not significantly change. The results of this small pilot study suggest that intraarticular injections into the first MC-C joint are easily administered, well tolerated, and could be an effective treatment option for patients with osteoarthritis of this joint. Further investigation using larger, blind controlled clinical studies are warranted.