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Supartz Injection vs Cortisone: Options for Joint Pain

David Fuller

Last Updated On: June 25, 2024

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 53.2 million US adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, including osteoarthritis. Among these, 32.5 million adults specifically suffer from osteoarthritis, making it the most common type of arthritis in the United States.

Supartz and cortisone are both intra-articular treatments for knee osteoarthritis (OA). Supartz, a sodium hyaluronate product, provides clinically meaningful pain reduction and improved function for up to 6 months without serious side effects. Cortisone, an extended-release synthetic corticosteroid, offers an alternative approach to managing OA pain.

This article explores Supartz and Cortisone, including their injection procedure, potential side effects, and recovery tips.

Key Takeaways

  • Supartz injections and cortisone injections are both viable options for managing joint pain.
  • Supartz injections provide long-lasting pain relief and can be a suitable alternative for patients who do not respond well to cortisone injections.
  • Cortisone injections offer quick pain relief but may have limited long-term efficacy and potential side effects.
  • The choice between Supartz and cortisone injections should be based on individual patient characteristics and treatment goals.

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. Order Supartz at Med Supply Solutions today and stock your practice at wholesale prices!

Understanding Joint Pain and Treatment Options

Joint pain can significantly impact daily life, prompting many to seek effective treatment options. Whether from wear and tear, injuries, or conditions like arthritis, joint pain is a common problem, with knees often bearing the brunt of discomfort. Options like Supartz injections and cortisone shots are commonly used to alleviate knee pain, particularly in osteoarthritis cases.

While cortisone shots provide quick relief from inflammation, they may not be suitable for long-term use and could potentially harm cartilage. In contrast, Supartz injections use hyaluronic acid for viscosupplementation, aiming to improve joint function with less risk to cartilage compared to steroids.

Choosing the proper treatment for joint pain is crucial. Understanding the effects and potential risks of treatments like Supartz injections and cortisone shots helps patients and healthcare professionals make informed decisions that maximize benefits while minimizing risks to long-term joint health.

Supartz Injection for Joint Pain

Supartz injections are a viscosupplementation therapy used to treat knee osteoarthritis. These injections contain hyaluronic acid, similar to the fluid naturally found in our knees, acting as a lubricant and shock absorber to improve joint function and reduce pain. 

Unlike cortisone shots that mainly manage inflammation symptoms, Supartz aims to restore natural knee fluid properties, making movement smoother and less painful. Studies show that Supartz effectively reduces knee osteoarthritis pain and improves movement, particularly in those with mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis, offering a long-term solution compared to options like cortisone.

Cortisone Injection for Joint Pain

Cortisone injections quickly ease inflammation and pain in joints, offering immediate relief. While effective for managing symptoms, they do not cure the underlying issue and may lead to cartilage damage over time. 

Studies show that while these injections provide temporary relief, they might worsen joint conditions long-term, as seen on MRI scans. Medical professionals often recommend cortisone injections for short-term relief, especially during arthritis flare-ups, but caution against potential cartilage damage with prolonged use.

Efficacy and Duration of Pain Relief

Understanding the duration of pain relief is crucial when choosing between Supartz and cortisone shots. Research indicates that each treatment has its success rate in easing joint pain.

Supartz injections and cortisone shots serve different functions for joint pain relief. Supartz provides hyaluronic acid to the knee, improving joint function and reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis. Its effects may last longer as it directly addresses lubrication in the knee joint.

On the other hand, cortisone injections quickly reduce inflammation and pain but may not offer long-term benefits. Research suggests that cortisone’s relief fades over time, with no significant pain reduction after two years. Additionally, repeated cortisone shots may lead to more cartilage damage, as seen on MRIs.

Side Effects and Risks

Each treatment comes with its side effects. Knowing these can help decide the best option for pain relief. 

  • Pain at Injection Site: Patients often report discomfort or pain right where the shot was given. This usually goes away in a few days.
  • Swelling and Warmth in the Knee: Some people find their knees swollen or warmer than usual after getting a Supartz injection. These signs typically lessen over time.
  • Rash and Itching: A few patients might notice a rash or itching around the injection site or elsewhere on their body.
  • Headache and Dizziness: After treatment, headaches or dizziness are possible, though not everyone will experience these side effects.
  • Muscle Pain: Besides joint pain, muscle pain in or around the knee can occur following an injection.
  • Fluid Buildup: In some cases, extra fluid can gather in the knee joint, increasing pressure and discomfort.
  • Nausea: A few patients may experience nausea after receiving Supartz injections.

Common Side Effects of Cortisone Injection

After discussing the common side effects of Supartz injection, it’s time to explore what happens with cortisone injections. Cortisone shots are often used to reduce inflammation and ease pain in joints. Just like any medication, they come with their own set of side effects.

  • Pain and Swelling at Injection Site: You might feel pain or swelling where the needle went in. This is common and tends to go away after a few days.
  • Skin Changes: The skin around the injection site can get thinner or change color. Sometimes, the spot becomes lighter than the skin around it.
  • Rise in Blood Sugar: People with diabetes need to watch out because cortisone can raise blood sugar levels. It’s wise to monitor your levels more closely after an injection.
  • Infection: Although rare, there is a risk of infection at the injection site.
  • Joint Damage: With long-term use, cortisone injections may harm the joint structures, including cartilage.
  • Nerve Damage: There’s a slight chance that a nerve near the injection site could be injured during the procedure.
  • Osteoporosis: Frequent cortisone shots can weaken bones, leading to osteoporosis if given in the same area repeatedly.
  • Facial Flushing: Some people experience redness and warmth in their face after a cortisone shot.

Choosing the Right Treatment for Patients

Choosing the proper treatment for joint pain between Supartz injections and cortisone shots. Many factors influence this decision, including the patient’s idea about similar treatments when discussing products like Supartz vs Euflexxa or cortisone injections.

  • Severity of Joint Pain: Consider the pain’s severity. Cortisone might offer short-term relief, while Supartz could provide longer-lasting improvement.
  • Underlying Condition: Supartz, approved for knee osteoarthritis, might offer more targeted relief than cortisone.
  • Long-Term Goals: Cortisone may harm cartilage over time; Supartz poses less risk.
  • Pain Relief Duration: Corticosteroid knee injections may not significantly relieve pain after two years, unlike Supartz.
  • Side Effects Concerns: Both treatments have side effects; weighing them against benefits is crucial.
  • Patient Lifestyle: Consider daily activities and desired pain relief speed.
  • Previous Treatments: Past experiences may guide treatment choice.
  • Research and Evidence: Review studies for informed decision-making.
  • Cost and Availability: Insurance coverage and availability may influence choice.
  • Expert Recommendations: Seek advice from experienced healthcare professionals..

Expert Opinions and Recommendations

Orthopedists and healthcare professionals agree that both Supartz injections and cortisone shots have their place in treating joint pain. Supartz, a form of viscosupplementation, is approved for treating knee osteoarthritis. It’s designed to cushion and lubricate the joint, offering relief where stiffness has taken hold. 

On the other hand, cortisone shots tackle inflammation directly—providing swift but temporary ease from discomfort. While cortisone might offer quick relief, its effects are short-lived compared to hyaluronic acid treatments like Supartz, which aim to manage symptoms longer. Diving deeper into recommendations, specialists suggest considering patient scenarios closely before deciding on a treatment plan.


The choice between Supartz and cortisone injections for managing joint pain should be based on a thorough evaluation of the patient’s condition, treatment goals, and potential risks and benefits. By considering the efficacy, duration of pain relief, side effects, and expert recommendations, healthcare professionals can tailor treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs, ultimately improving their quality of life and overall well-being.


1. What’s the difference between Supartz and cortisone injections?

Supartz injections, often chosen for knee pain, use a fluid that mimics natural joint fluid. Cortisone shots, on the other hand, are steroids that reduce inflammation quickly.

2. Are there any side effects to be wary of with Supartz?

Yes, while many find relief with Supartz, some people might experience side effects like pain at the injection site or swelling – though these are generally mild.

3. How do I know if Supartz or cortisone is better for me?

It depends on your specific situation… If you’re looking for long-term relief and are okay with gradual improvement, Supartz could be a good fit. Cortisone might be the way to go for quick relief from severe inflammation.

4. Can you compare Supartz with Euflexxa?

Sure! Both treatments aim to relieve knee pain by mimicking natural joint fluid but come from different sources. Your choice might depend on how your body reacts since everyone’s response can vary.


OA Prevalence & Burden Osteoarthritis Prevention and Management in Primary Care. https://oaaction.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/623/2019/08/FINAL-OA-Prevalence-and-Burden-final.pdf 

Dunkin MA. Corticosteroid and Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Osteoarthritis. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/cortocosteroids-hyaluronic-acid-injections-osteoarthritis



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