Knee Injections Not Recommended by Orthopedic Association

The Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Ortho­pe­dic Sur­geons new report sum­ma­rizes the evi­dence about the use of hyaluron­ic acid injec­tions (“Syn­visc”) into arthrit­ic knees.  Despite the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of the pro­ce­dure, the bot­tom line is that they haven’t been shown to be effec­tive.  The Acad­e­my strong­ly rec­om­mends that they not be used.


That doesn’t leave many options for some­one with symp­to­matic osteoarthri­tis of the knees.

Three oth­er treat­ments have also failed to pan out:

The use of arthro­scop­ic surgery to clean up an arthrit­ic knee has already been debunked.  Acupunc­ture doesn’t fare too well either.  And despite a burst in pop­u­lar­i­ty a few years back, glu­cosamine sup­ple­ments (with or with­out chon­droitin) haven’t been shown to help, either.

I do two main things to help peo­ple with arthrit­ic knees.

  • I use spe­cial­ized meth­ods of con­nec­tive tis­sue treat­ment (pri­mar­i­ly Neu­ro­Tac­tile ™ Ther­a­py) to make sure that the soft tis­sue around the knee joint is as bal­anced as pos­si­ble.
  • I train peo­ple in prop­er use of the knee and knee-strength­en­ing exer­cis­es that actu­al­ly reduce joint stress.  The most impor­tant exer­cise for the knee is the sim­ple plié. That’s an exer­cise from bal­let in which you sim­ply bend and straight­en your knees, hips, and ankle joints in syn­chrony. It’s sim­ple, but the details are impor­tant.  That’s why a ses­sion or two of ther­a­peu­tic exer­cise instruc­tion is vital.

In truth, the meth­ods I use have not been test­ed by the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Ortho­pe­dic Sur­geons, and care­ful research may ulti­mate­ly add them to the list of modal­i­ties to be thrown in the junk pile.

But in the mean­time they have four main things to rec­om­mend them

  1. They rely on restor­ing (as much as pos­si­ble) the knee’s intrin­sic abil­i­ty to func­tion
  2. They’re safe, with vir­tu­al­ly zero neg­a­tive side-effects
  3. They’re inex­pen­sive
  4. I’ve got­ten robust results with many of the patients who have com­mit­ted to a con­sis­tent treat­ment pro­gram


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Prop­er exer­cise to pro­tect knee car­ti­lage

How to diag­nose knee pain



About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website,, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.

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