These injections are used to decrease pain and stiffness and improve mobility for people suffering from osteoarthritis or arthritis (also known as ‘wear and tear’) in the joints. The solution injected contains sodium hyaluronate and it is injected into the joint space where the synovial fluid is. The fluid acts as a lubricant reducing friction and improving supply of oxygen and nutrients to the worn cartilage. Think of it like WD-40 for your joints.
Conditions treated by Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid (HA) Injections are most effective in treatment of osteoarthritis of joints especially the knee joint. The drug works to restore the balance between the breakdown and production of sodium hyaluronate in the synovial fluid of the joint.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
The actual process is fairly simple. You are injected directly into the affected knee joint usually under ultrasound guidance. Like any injection, it may seem more painful to some people than others, but there should not be a lot of pain since a sharp needle is used and the joint may be numbed first with a local anesthetic.
You may not notice any benefits immediately after the first injection but you should start to feel less pain and stiffness over the next few weeks. The improvement should last for several months.
We routinely perform a course of three injections and the benefits of these can last for up to 9 months. You can have as many courses of injections as you require if you find that they alleviate your symptoms for a significant length of time.
One advantage is that the side effects, such as swelling and discomfort on the area of your skin where you get the shot, are mild. Since the risks are small, your doctor may think that hyaluronan is worth a try, especially if your only other option is surgery.