Osteoarthritis stands for degenerative changes in the joints that results from wear and tear on the cartilage substance. The knee joint is the most commonly affected joint. Osteoarthritis leads to limited mobility and pain on the knee joint.
The hyaluronic acid also occurs naturally in the synovial fluid and serves as a lubricant and buffer during movement.
Patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis can benefit from intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid to improve mobility and reduce pain. The knee is particularly suitable for this treatment due to its anatomy and easy access to the joint.
Treatment cannot reverse the signs of wear and tear. It is solely a symptomatic therapy. A cure is not possible. The improvement in the symptoms varies from patient to patient. Overall, they can be related as mild to moderate. The positive effects of hyaluronic acid injections last between several weeks up to a year and must then be repeated if necessary. A series of treatments consists of 3-4 injections about a week apart.
The risk of complications such as joint infections or bleeding is rather low with the knee.
The various hyaluronic acid preparations available on the market hardly differ in quality.
This method is less suitable for severe advanced forms of osteoarthritis because it usually does not improve the symptoms.
Intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections can be performed not only by an orthopedist but also e general practitioner with experience in the subject. I have performed this treatment regularly during my practice in Switzerland and offer it also in my doctor’s office in Florence.