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Hyalgan vs Orthovisc – Comparing Injections

David Fuller

Last Updated On: June 24, 2024

A recent systematic review evaluated the effectiveness and safety of viscosupplementation for pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The study revealed that injecting a gel-like fluid into the knee joint acts as a shock absorber, allowing smoother bone movement and improved mobility.

Hyalgan and Orthovisc are two brand-name drugs used for viscosupplementation. Both products have been extensively studied and have demonstrated efficacy in providing symptomatic relief and improving joint function. Understanding each product’s specific characteristics and clinical outcomes is essential for healthcare professionals to make informed decisions regarding the most suitable treatment for their patients.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind Hyalgan and Orthovisc and compare their effectiveness, potential side effects, and duration of pain relief.

Key Takeaways

  • Hyalgan and Orthovisc treat osteoarthritis knee pain by injecting hyaluronic acid into the joint, acting like a natural fluid.
  • Patients usually need a series of shots, with Hyalgan often given once a week for five weeks and Orthovisc three to five times weekly.
  • Side effects can happen but are primarily mild and short-term; however, severe reactions are rare.
  • Studies show that both treatments help reduce pain and improve knee function, allowing for better mobility.
  • The cost of Hyalgan and Orthovisc varies and is an essential factor when deciding on treatment, but many insurance plans cover them.

About: Operating since 2016, Med Supply Solutions is known for being one of the industry’s top and trusted suppliers of cosmetic and viscosupplementation products. If you’re looking to buy Hyalgan online, contact our sales department for more information.

Introduction to Viscosupplementation and its Role in Osteoarthritis Management

Hyalgan and Orthovisc injections offer relief from knee pain through viscosupplementation. This treatment involves injecting hyaluronic acid into the knee joint to improve mobility and reduce osteoarthritis-related pain. Research indicates similar efficacy between both treatments, but Orthovisc might have a higher price tag than Hyalgan and Supartz.

Deciding between Hyalgan and Orthovisc involves considering administration, costs, and effectiveness. Personal preferences and physician recommendations often dictate the choice between these treatments, aiming to balance efficacy and safety.

Composition and Mechanism of Action

Hyalgan and Orthovisc alleviate knee osteoarthritis by imitating the body’s natural joint fluid, aiding smooth knee movement. Hyalgan, produced in labs, functions similarly to natural joint fluid. Doctors administer Hyalgan injections in five weekly doses to treat knee pain when conventional methods fail. Each injection cycle aims to accumulate enough substance to cushion and lubricate the knee joint, enhancing relief.

Orthovisc also reduces pain and enhances joint movement. To alleviate osteoarthritis pain, patients receive Orthovisc shots weekly for three to five weeks. By restoring the balance of hyaluronic acid in the knee joint, Orthovisc improves joint function, providing relief during daily activities. These treatments offer effective relief and potential long-term joint improvement.

Clinical Efficacy and Patient Outcomes

Studies show how well Hyalgan and Orthovisc work to treat osteoarthritis knee pain. People who got these shots had different results, improving their daily activities.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of Hyalgan in patients with OA of the knee. In this study, 200 participants received either Hyalgan (20mg/2ml) or sterile normal saline (placebo) as intraarticular injections once a week for five consecutive weeks. The results demonstrated sustained pain relief and improved joint function in the Hyalgan group.

“Hyalgan injections have worked for me immensely! My first round of 3 lasted a year. I just started my second round as I had a flare-up. I hear some orthopedic surgeons feel there is no proof that it works and are convincing the insurance companies not to cover Hyalgan. They are saying it’s a placebo effect. I am living proof that it works for my osteoarthritis!”

Hyalgan, a hyaluronate-based injection, replenishes synovial fluid within the knee joint, reducing friction and cushioning the affected area. Notably, it proved effective even when other treatments had failed to provide adequate relief. However, healthcare providers should exercise caution when administering Hyalgan to patients with avian protein allergies or inflammatory arthritis.

While Orthovisc is another hyaluronic acid-based therapy, it has also shown promise in treating knee OA. Although specific studies directly comparing Hyalgan and Orthovisc are limited, both have demonstrated long-lasting efficacy.

“I’m 72 with bone-on-bone osteoarthritis in my knees. Orthovisc has been a miracle for me – I got THREE YEARS of relief! I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but I feel like a really lucky girl that it works for me. Good luck, everyone!”

Orthovisc injections aim to improve joint lubrication and reduce pain. However, individual responses may vary, and patients should consult their healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable treatment based on their unique needs.

Safety Profiles and Side Effects

Both Hyalgan and Orthovisc have favorable safety profiles. In the US clinical trial of Hyalgan, the only statistically significant adverse event compared to placebo was injection-site pain. Similarly, Orthovisc has been well-tolerated by patients.

Healthcare providers must assess each patient’s medical history, allergies, and overall health before recommending either treatment. While these injections offer relief, individual factors determine their suitability.

Practical Considerations for Administration and Cost

Choosing whether to use Hyalgan or Orthovisc depends on how often patients need shots and how much they’ll pay. Doctors consider these factors to help pick the best option for each person. 

Hyalgan and Orthovisc injections follow distinct protocols for knee joint administration. Each protocol is tailored to alleviate osteoarthritis pain and improve joint function effectively. Here are some important things to keep in mind about the administration of these two treatments.

  • Hyalgan typically involves five weekly injections for full treatment.
  • Orthovisc requires three to four injections, spaced a week apart.
  • Both are administered directly into the knee joint by specialists.
  • Hyalgan’s pain relief usually becomes evident after completing the series.
  • Orthovisc may show improvement after the second or third injection.
  • Effectiveness varies but can last several months.
  • Repeat treatments are available based on response and doctor’s advice.
  • Before injections, the knee area is cleaned thoroughly.
  • A local anesthetic may be used for comfort during the procedure.
  • Patients are advised to rest the joint post-injection for 48 hours.

Cost Considerations for Hyalgan and Orthovisc

Exploring cost considerations for Hyalgan and Orthovisc is essential for medical professionals advising patients on knee osteoarthritis management options. The financial implications, efficacy, and safety profiles are significant in treatment decisions. Below is a comparative analysis of cost factors associated with Hyalgan and Orthovisc injections, providing insights into their overall economic impact.

Injection ProtocolTypically five injectionsOne weekly injection for three to five weeks
Frequency of AdministrationThree- and five-injection optionsSimilar to Hyalgan, with adjustments based on patient response
Cost per InjectionVaries by provider and insuranceGenerally comparable to Hyalgan, may vary
Overall Treatment CostDepends on the total number of injectionsCan be influenced by chosen course length
Insurance CoverageOften covered, subject to deductible and copaySimilarly covered by many insurance plans
Disease-Specific CostsLower compared to some alternativesHigher disease-specific costs reported


Choosing between Hyalgan and Orthovisc hinges on factors like injection schedules and personal preferences. While both offer knee pain relief, their dosing regimens differ, potentially impacting treatment choices based on convenience and cost. Consulting with your doctor can help determine the most suitable option for your needs and lifestyle.


1. What’s the big difference between Hyalgan and Orthovisc?

Hyalgan comes from rooster combs, while Orthovisc is made in a lab.

2. Do both injections hurt?

Yes, but the pain is usually quick and manageable.

3. How long do these shots last?

Depending on the person, both can ease pain for up to 6 months.

4. Can anyone get these injections?

Most adults with knee pain from arthritis can try them, but a doctor’s okay is needed first.

5. Will I need to take it easy after getting Hyalgan or Orthovisc?

After your shot, taking it easy for a day or two is a good idea.


Pereira TV, Jüni P, Saadat P, et al. Viscosupplementation for knee osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. Published online July 6, 2022:e069722. doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-069722

Clinical Studies – Hyalgan for Healthcare Professionals. https://hcp.hyalgan.com/hcp/clinical-studies/ 



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