HYALURONIC ACID (GEL) INJECTIONS FOR KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS

Dr. Brinda Kantha
Total Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Individuals with osteoarthritis are painfully aware that something is missing in their aching joints. The reality is that a healthy joint contains a thick substance called synovial fluid that provides the lubrication that allows the bones to glide against each other, acting as a “shock absorber.” In the case of osteoarthritis, cartilage and subsequently a critical element found in synovial fluid – hyaluronic acid – breaks down and serves as the contributing factor to joint pain.

An approved treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee is an injection of Hyaluronic Acid, a procedure that is shown to provide significant relief in many patients.

Receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1997, there are now several types of hyaluronic acid treatments for knee osteoarthritis. The treatments are appropriate for patients who are no longer able to control pain with ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The regimen normally involves one injection to the affected joint per week for one to five weeks.

A 2006 project in Australia reviewed 76 studies of the use of hyaluronic acid treatments for knee osteoarthritis, finding that pain levels in the average patients were reduced by 28 to 54 percent and the ability to move and perform daily activities increased by 9 to 32 percent.

With pain relief utilizing hyaluronic acid, comparison is often made to the use of corticosteroid injections. Though steroid injections provide virtually immediate relief, their effect is not tolerated in all patients, and the effects can diminish with time. If used excessively, steroids may cause cartilage to break down.

The reality of hyaluronic acid injection use is that 30 percent of people who undergo injections can obtain substantial pain control for up to two years.

An added benefit to the injection regimen is the potential to stimulate the joint into increasing the production of substances that may help to preserve cartilage, effectively slowing down the advancement of osteoarthritis.

As with any medical procedure, there are alternatives. The primary alternative to hyaluronic acid injections is knee replacement. Other options to potentially delay or avoid surgery include use of Platelet Rich Plasma injections and Stem Cell therapy.

Hyaluronic acid injections and other procedures should only be administered by a medical doctor.
Total Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine specialists offer integrated care for total pain relief including treatment for chronic pain and post-injury rehabilitation. Medical and professional staff work as a collaborative team to develop an individual treatment plan to reduce pain, restore function, and improve your quality of life.

For further information call 908-252-9900 or visit www.totalrehabnj.com.

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