Intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid induce positive clinical effects in knees of patients affected by haemophilic arthropathy.

First Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
The Knee (Impact Factor: 2.01). 06/2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.knee.2012.05.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Haemophilic arthropathy is the most common clinical manifestation of haemophilia, secondary to recurrent haemarthrosis and chronic synovitis, and the knee represents the main target joint. Modern bleeding prevention has significatively limited the incidence of severe arthropathy, and primary approach is usually conservative. Viscosupplementation is felt as one of the most efficient treatments for the early stages of knee haemophilic arthropathy, based on short-term follow-up studies. The aim of this prospective case series study is to assess the clinical effectiveness of intra-articular administration of hyaluronic acid in the knee, evaluating long-term results, and focusing on the necessity of further treatments after viscosupplementation. METHODS: Twenty-seven haemophilic patients with knee arthropathy underwent at least two cycles of injections of hyaluronians between 2003 and 2009. They were evaluated with VAS, SF-36, WFH, Pettersson score, and WOMAC, with a seven-year follow-up. RESULTS: All patients showed improvement in pain relief and functional recovery without any complications. Considering the severity of arthropathy in haemophilic patients, only a limited number of subjects (five) underwent total knee arthroplasty for persistent pain or functional limitation. CONCLUSIONS: Viscosupplementation is a safe and effective therapeutic strategy in knee haemophilic arthropathy, with no complications, persisting good clinical results, and determining in most cases a delay of surgery.

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    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain, most often due to haemophilic arthropathy, is a pervasive problem in persons with haemophilia (PWH) that adversely impacts function and quality of life. PWH with inhibitors and older PWH may be especially vulnerable to progressive arthropathy and resulting chronic pain. The development of chronic pain from acute pain involves a complex interplay of biological and psychosocial factors that may all contribute to the perpetuation of chronic pain and the outcome of therapy. In the absence of evidence-based guidelines, an individualized, multimodal approach to chronic pain management is proposed, as it is in individuals without haemophilia who have chronic pain. Pharmacological treatment is central to the management of chronic pain and must be modified based on pain intensity, ongoing response to therapy and the risk for adverse events. Non-pharmacological interventions, including physiotherapy, complementary treatments and surgical (e.g. orthopaedic) or other invasive procedures, may be integral to chronic pain management in this population. Ongoing psychosocial assessment is critical to identify those factors that may be contributing to the perpetuation of chronic pain or acting as barriers to effective management. Additional study is needed to identify optimal pharmacological treatments for chronic pain in PWH based on the unique pathophysiology of haemophilic arthropathy and on risk profile. Systematic determination of the particular psychosocial factors impacting the experience and management of chronic pain in PWH would likewise add value to the treatment of this pervasive problem.
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