The knee is one of the most commonly injured joints of the body. There are, literally, millions of people who suffer from chronic pain and reduced mobility in their knees, especially in their senior years or after suffering several traumas to the joints. As the years go by and traumas accumulate in the knees, the joints can start to degenerate and develop osteoarthritis. One of the best treatments for this is hyaluronic acid knee injections.
What is a Hyaluronic Acid Injection?
Hyaluronic acid knee injections, or HA injections, are rapidly becoming one of the most popular treatments for knee joint pain. They are an extremely safe and effective treatment for chronic knee pain, limited range of motion, and joint degeneration. Why? Because hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the body that helps lubricate and cushion the joints. When injected directly into the knee, it provides extra lubricant and serves as an extremely effective shock absorber, like a sponge, that can help to reduce pain and increase range of motion. It may also improve overall mobility, increase function, and may even help prevent or postpone surgery.
Hyaluronic acid injections are not just good for pain. They are also good for osteoarthritis. If you have knee osteoarthritis, you may find that injecting hyaluronic acid is one of the most helpful and natural treatments that you can get.
Osteoarthritis, also known as just arthritis, is a condition that causes the cartilage and bones that make up your joints to wear down. This can lead to pain and stiffness in the joint and limits your range of motion. Hyaluronic acid injections can help to reduce these symptoms and improve your quality of life, and has been shown to be effective in mild, moderate, and even severe arthritis. There are a lot of studies on Hyaluronic acid that show that participants who received HA injections reported significant improvement in knee function, compared to those who received a placebo injection.
Hyaluronic Acid Knee Injections for Meniscus Tear
Another reason you may need HA injections for your knee is a tear in the meniscus. There are many studies that also show that HA injections are an effective treatment for meniscal tears. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that separates the femur from the tibia, helps to cushion the knee joint, and keeps the bones from rubbing and grinding together. A tear in the meniscus can cause a lot of pain and swelling. Hyaluronic acid injections can serve as both a lubricant and an additional cushion that serves to further separate the bones that make up the joint and relieve the pressure being placed on them with normal weight-bearing and movement and take some of the pressure off of the meniscus.
Is there More than One Type of Hyaluronic Acid?
There are two types of hyaluronic acid injections available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The type we prefer to use is a product called GenVisc because it matches closely with the natural-occurring hyaluronic acid already in the body. The other type of hyaluronic acid is artificial and is derived from avian products. It is also known as the “chicken” or “rooster” shot because it is sourced from the rooster comb. We can use artificial products, but we prefer to use natural hyaluronic acid as it seems to last longer and has a lower risk of side effects. GenVisc is delivered directly into the joint in a series of injections and can provide long-lasting relief from knee pain for months or even years.
How Long Does Hyaluronic Acid Treatment Take To Work?
HA injections for the knee usually provide relief fairly quickly, but may take several weeks, depending on how damaged the joint is, how long arthritis has been present in the affected joint, how many traumas the joint has been subject to, genetics, weight, and age, each play a role in how long your treatment lasts. Sometimes, the best results are seen after a second round of injections has been delivered, if a lot of damage is present in the joint. Each patient is different, so it is important to follow your recommended care plan in order for you to get the most benefit.
Summary of the Benefits of the Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid knee injections:
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Enhance joint function
- Promote cartilage healing
- Reduce joint stiffness
- Increase joint space
- Slow down the progression of osteoarthritis
- Help to postpone or eliminate the need for surgery
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