Why might someone need this treatment?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring fluid that helps lubricate and cushion our joints to help them work properly without pain. When the Osteoarthritis (OA) process starts in joints that are showing wear and tear, this fluid is affected. This in turn can lead to pain and stiffness in the affected joints making it difficult to move them and do certain activities.
By injecting Hyaluronic acid into the joint, several beneficial effects have been shown:
1) Reduced pain from the joint which enables a reduced reliance on other pain killers.
2) Increased protection and slowing of the OA process.
3) Increased range of movement in the joint.
With current long delays in access for joint replacement and Orthopaedic surgery, Hyaluronic acid injections can provide some welcome relief.
What joints can be treated?
The most commonly treated joints are:
How is it administered?
Your practitioner will diagnose whether this is an appropriate treatment for your OA via a clinical examination and, potentially, using the ultrasound scanner. If appropriate for you, they will inject the affected joint directly with a single dose. This ensures that the dose is administered directly where it is needed. Although it’s a relatively simple procedure, often the needle is guided by ultrasound imaging to ensure the correct needle placement and minimum discomfort.
How often can someone have this treatment?
You can expect up to 6 months of relief after 1 injection. It is possible to have an unlimited amount of these injections due to HA being a naturally occurring substance.
Are there any possible side effects?
There are only very limited side effects and if you experience them (mild discomfort and potentially some increased swelling in the joint) they will only last a day or two.