The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit provided by intraosseous infiltration combined with intra-articular injection of platelet-rich plasma to treat mild and moderate stages of knee joint degeneration (Kellgren-Lawrence score II-III) compared with other treatments, specifically intra-articular injection of PRP and of HA. Eighty-six patients with grade II to grade III knee OA according to the Kellgren-Lawrence classification were randomly assigned to intra-articular combined with intraosseous injection of PRP (group A), intra-articular PRP (group B), or intra-articular HA (group C). Patients in group A received intra-articular combined with intraosseous injection of PRP (administered twice, 2 weeks apart). Patients in group B received intra-articular injection of PRP every 14 days. Patients in group C received a series of five intra-articular injections of HA every 7 days. All patients were evaluated using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) score before the treatment and at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment. There were significant improvements at the end of the 1st month. Notably, group A patients had significantly superior VAS and WOMAC scores than were observed in groups B and C. The VAS scores were similar in groups B and group C after the 6th month. Regarding the WOMAC scores, groups B and C differed at the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 12th months; however, no significant difference was observed at the 18th month. The combination of intraosseous with intra-articular injections of PRP resulted in a significantly superior clinical outcome, with sustained lower VAS and WOMAC scores and improvement in quality of life within 18 months.
Keywords: Hyaluronic acid; Intra-articular injection; Knee osteoarthritis; Platelet-rich plasma.