LYON – MAY 22-23, 2014

OBJECTIVE: Organise a meeting and invite experts from several countries of Europe to debate on the viscosupplementation use in both knee and other joints affected by osteoarthritis (OA), share experiences and propose a consensual approach as well as recommendations to physicians to avoid risks of misuse of hyaluronic acid (HA) intra-articular injections in daily practice.

Eight European physicians, from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and UK, were selected according to their expertise in the field of OA and especially viscosupplementation and were invited to attend the 1st European Board on Viscosupplementation held in Lyon (France) in May 2014 and organised by LABRHA. The panel of experts was made up of 5 rheumatologists, 2 orthopedic surgeons and 1 physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. The board members all had experience in both academic medicine and private practice as well as expertise in clinical research methodology .

The experts debated during one day about 24 proposals, all related to HA intra-articular injections, and voted for each of them according to their level of agreement. For each item discussed, the opinion of all the experts was collected and a discussion was established comparing data from the literature and experts clinical experience. For items on which consensus or a large majority was obtained, the participants enacted rules and recommendations for physicians practising viscosupplementation. As the conference was designed to stimulate an international dialogue on the issue, consensus was not obtained on several of the items discussed for which the debate still goes on.

After this 1st European Board on Viscosupplementation, recommendations have been detailed and explained in an article written by 3 experts and approved by all members of the task force. A paper has recently been submitted for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal.