Intra-articular saline injection is as effective as corticosteroids, platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid for hip osteoarthritis pain: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials Academic Article uri icon

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  • ObjectiveIntra-articular (IA) injections represent a commonly used modality in the treatment of hip osteoarthritis (OA). Commonly used injections include corticosteroids (CCS), hyaluronic acid (HA) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). A network meta-analysis allows for comparison among more than two treatment arms and uses both direct and indirect comparisons between interventions. The objective of this network meta-analysis is to compare the efficacy of the various IA injectable treatments in treating hip OA at up to 6 months of follow-up.DesignThis is a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Bayesian random-effects model was performed to assess the direct and indirect comparisons of all treatment options.Data sourcesPubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Scopus and Web of Science, from inception to October 2019.Eligibility criteria for selected studiesRandomised controlled trials assessing the efficacy of CCS, HA, PRP and placebo in the form of IA saline injection for patients with hip OA.ResultsEleven randomised controlled trials comprising 1353 patients were included. For pain outcomes at both 2–4 and 6 months, no intervention significantly outperformed placebo IA injection. For functional outcomes at both 2–4 and 6 months, no intervention significantly outperformed placebo IA injection. Regarding change from baseline at 2–4 months and 6 months, pooled data demonstrated that all interventions (including placebo), with the exception of HA+PRP, led to a clinically important improvement in both pain, exceeding the minimal clinically important difference.ConclusionEvidence suggests that IA hip saline injections performed as well as all other injectable options in the management of hip pain and functional outcomes.


  • Gazendam, Aaron
  • Ekhtiari, Seper
  • Bozzo, Anthony
  • Phillips, Mark
  • Bhandari, Mohit

publication date

  • March 2021