What are Hyaluronic Acid Injections?
Hyaluronic acid injections are a minimally invasive treatment option for knee osteoarthritis that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Injections are performed as a quick and easy outpatient procedure. A topical anesthetic is applied over the knee before the procedure begins—anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or pain medications are not needed. After the patient is relaxed and the knee is numb, the procedure begins:
- A needle is carefully guided into the joint
- Hyaluronic acid is injected into the joint
- The needle is removed and a band-aid is placed over the tiny mark
Patients return home or to work and normal activities almost immediately after their procedure. Minor soreness and swelling are easily controlled with ice and elevation. Depending on the brand of hyaluronic acid used, repeat injections may be performed at 1 or 2-week intervals.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Injections Treat?
Knee osteoarthritis slowly destroys knee bone and cartilage and decreases hyaluronic acid concentration in the joint fluid. This is important because hyaluronic acid helps lubricate the joint, allowing it to move easily without pain or bone on bone rubbing. Symptoms patients should be aware of include:
Nonsurgical treatment options effectively treat mild cases of knee osteoarthritis. Some moderate to severe cases of knee osteoarthritis may not respond to nonsurgical treatment and hyaluronic acid injections may be recommended. Patients who experience symptoms are encouraged to make an appointment with Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIO) specialists Dr. Elad Tennen, Dr. Laurie Glasser and Dr. Peter Gonzalez to see if hyaluronic acid injections are a treatment option that can help improve your symptoms.