Background: The combined use of hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma has never been reported in the treatment for osteoarthritis. Aim of this paper was to evaluate the efficacy of this association and to compare retrospectively these results with those of a cohort of patients treated with platelet-rich plasma only.
Materials and methods: Subjects with mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis were enrolled. After clinical and ultrasound evaluation, patients received a weekly intra-articular injection of 2 ml of hyaluronic acid added with 2 ml of platelet-rich plasma for 3 weeks. Follow-up was performed at 1, 3, and 6 months. The same clinical parameters were retrospectively collected from a cohort of patients treated with 4-5 ml of platelet-rich plasma only.
Results: Forty knees were treated in both groups. The intra-group comparison showed a significant improvement in clinical and functional outcomes at 1, 3, and 6 months, while the infra-group comparison did not show any significant difference.
Conclusions: The association of platelet-rich plasma + hyaluronic acid has the same efficacy of platelet-rich plasma only, administered in higher volume. We may infer that hyaluronic acid works synergically and improves the activity of several molecules contained in platelet-rich plasma.
Keywords: Hyaluronic acid; Knee osteoarthritis; Platelet-rich plasma; Safety profile.