Efficacy and Safety of Hylan G-F 20 for Symptomatic Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis: A Prospective, Pilot Study

Victoria Anne Brander*, Ameer Gomberawalla, Michelle Chambers, Mark Bowen, Gordon Nuber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the safety and efficacy of 2 intra-articular, fluoroscopically guided hylan G-F 20 injections for painful glenohumeral osteoarthritis. Design: This study was a prospective open-label pilot investigation with both U.S. Food and Drug Administration and institutional review board approval. Setting: Private, outpatient practice within a tertiary care, university medical school. Participants: Thirty-six subjects with moderate to severe glenohumeral osteoarthritis, with pain (visual analog scale [VAS] 40 mm or greater) despite following a 3-month standard, nonsurgical treatment program. Interventions: Two injections of 2 mL hylan G-F 20, under fluoroscopic guidance confirmed by arthrography, 2 weeks apart. No new treatments were allowed during the course of the study. Analgesics were discontinued 24 hours before visits. Main Outcome Measurements: Data collected were radiographs; rotator cuff integrity as determined with magnetic resonance imaging; VAS for pain at rest, at night, and with activity; and shoulder-related quality of life (Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index [WORC]). Subjects were re-evaluated after each injection and at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Changes from baseline for VAS and WORC were recorded in Excel and analyzed using SPSS. Intent-to-treat analysis was performed. The type and severity of adverse events were recorded. Results: Mean VAS at baseline was 63 mm (SD 14.5). Clinically (≥20% improvement) and statistically significant improvements (P < .001) in VAS pain were seen at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Mean improvement in WORC at 6 months was 16.5 (P < .01), with most gains in "lifestyle" and "emotion" questions. Age, gender, body mass index, and rotator cuff pathology did not correlate with response. Three subjects described heightened pain for a few days after injections. Three subjects reported greater pain at 6 months and were unsatisfied. Four experienced no effect of treatment. There were no inflammatory reactions. Conclusion: Two hylan G-F 20 injections improved pain and function, and should be considered as part of a multimodal shoulder osteoarthritis treatment program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalPM and R
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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