Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Osteoarthritis
Your body makes hyaluronic acid. It’s a natural part of the fluid that helps lubricate and cushion your joints and keeps them working smoothly.
When you have osteoarthritis (OA), the hyaluronic acid in the affected joint thins. Hyaluronic acid injections add to your body’s natural supply. You may hear your doctor refer to these injections as “viscosupplementation,” which literally means they help the fluid in your joints.
Should You Try Hyaluronic Acid Injections?
Doctors can’t predict who will benefit from hyaluronic acid injections. But many doctors give them to people with knee OA whose symptoms don’t get better with painkillers or non-drug treatments such as heat or ice.
Hyaluronic injections are also often tried by people who can’t take painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), or naproxen sodium (Aleve) or can’t have (or aren’t ready for) total knee replacement surgery.
How Effective Are Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Osteoarthritis?
Studies show hyaluronic acid injections may work better than painkillers for some people with OA. Other studies have shown they also may work as well as corticosteroid knee injections.
Hyaluronic acid injections seem to work better in some people than others. They may be less effective in older adults and people with severe OA.
Getting a Hyaluronic Acid Injection: What to Expect
Depending on which type your doctor uses, you may get a single shot. Or you’ll get three to five injections spaced a week apart.
The injection is given the same way for all types. First, the doctor cleans the area. If your knee is swollen with excess fluid, your doctor may inject a local painkiller, then insert a needle into the joint to withdraw excess fluid. With the same needle still in place, the doctor can usually inject the hyaluronic acid into the knee joint.
DR. KELLY HOOD, D.C.
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Hood Health & Wellness
10678 FM 346 East
Flint, TX 75762
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“I highly recommend Dr. Hood because he takes great delight in eradicating pain and facilitating true healing. For me, a meniscus tear in my knee resulted in a serious lack of mobility. Through his therapies, my horrible hip, leg, foot, and neck pain are gone! Dr. Hood is a natural-born teacher and shows you how to build your body up to its fullest potential. I’m stronger now. I’m not limited anymore! Best choice I ever made for my health!”