Hyaluronic acid (HA)-viscosupplementation is recommended in arthritis and to treat knee, hip joints, shoulders, ankle, and other joints problems.
Arthritis is a condition of inflammation of joints causing stiffness, swelling, and severe pain in the affected joints. In arthritis, the cartilage which connects the bones and helps in smooth gliding of bones during movement is damaged. Therefore the bones rub against each other causing severe pain and inflammation. The risk of arthritis increases with age, family history, injury, over use of the joints, and others factors. There are different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory medicines that reduce the pain and surgeries to repair the damaged cartilage.
In patients with osteoarthritis the concentration of HA is reduced and therefore the elasticity and viscosity of the synovial fluid, that acts as lubricant and reduces the friction between cartilages during the movement, is decreased. To treat patients with arthritis viscosupplementation injections are given. This injection relieves pain and brings back the elasticity and stability, and improves the functions of the joints.
Hyaluronic acid is found in higher concentrations in the connective tissues and body fluids, particularly in synovial fluid. It acts as a lubricating agent (help in the movement of joints) and shock absorber (protects the joints by withstanding high energy or high forces that hit the joints).
The HA-viscosupplementation injection is one of the most conventional methods recommended over surgery, that requires longer time to heal, and medications, that offer temporary relief from pain.
Allergic responses and mild pain are reported with the use of HA injection and no major risks are associated.
Viscosupplementation is best done using ultrasound guidance to insure accurate and proper placement of the product in the joint space. This will help ensure the best results for the treatement.