Send to

Choose Destination
J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2012 Sep;94(9):1246-52. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.94B9.28750.

The effectiveness of injections of hyaluronic acid or corticosteroid in patients with subacromial impingement: a three-arm randomised controlled trial.

Author information

Maastricht University Medical Centre Research School CAPHRI, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.


A total of 159 patients (84 women and 75 men, mean age of 53 (20 to 87)) with subacromial impingement were randomised to treatment with subacromial injections using lidocaine with one of hyaluronic acid (51 patients), corticosteroid (53 patients) or placebo (55 patients). Patients were followed up for 26 weeks. The primary outcome was pain on a visual analogue score (VAS), and secondary outcomes included the Constant Murley score, shoulder pain score, functional mobility score, shoulder disability questionnaire and pain-specific disability score. The different outcome measures showed similar results. After three, six and 12 weeks corticosteroid injections were superior to hyaluronic acid injections and only at six weeks significantly better than placebo injections. The mean short-term reduction in pain on the VAS score at 12 weeks was 7% (SD 2.7; 97.5% confidence interval (CI) 0.207 to 1.55; p = 0.084) in the hyaluronic acid group, 28% (SD 2.8; 97.5% CI 1.86 to 3.65; p < 0.001) in the corticosteroid group and 23% (SD 3.23; 97.5% CI 1.25 to 3.26; p < 0.001) in the placebo group. At 26 weeks there was a reduction in pain in 63% (32 of 51) of patients in the hyaluronic acid group, 72% (38 of 53) of those in the corticosteroid group and 69% (38 of 55) of those in the placebo group. We were not able to show a convincing benefit from hyaluronic acid injections compared with corticosteroid or placebo injections. Corticosteroid injections produced a significant reduction in pain in the short term (three to 12 weeks), but in the long term the placebo injection produced the best results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Bone and Joint Publishing
Loading ...
Support Center