What is Hyaluronic acid (HA)?
Hyaluronan is a highly viscous (thick) and elastic substance which represents the synovial fluid in joints. This is found naturally in the human body. The hyaluronic acid is a synthetically produced version of this complex viscous and elastic substance used in arthritis to replenish and hydrate the joint. It is water based and hence rarely causes any side effects.
It is an alternative for steroid injections and more suited when there is no active inflammation with in the joint.
The effects take longer to be noticed but usually last longer than steroid injections. It is likely that repeated injections are required for optimal results over several months to years. There are usually no restrictions to the amount of injections into any joint.
It is particularly useful in knee and hip arthritis. It can also be used in tendinopathies.
The procedure usually take 15-20 minutes and consists of one injection. It may be repeated after several months.
Risks and complications
There are no serious risks associated with HA injections. However, there is a small risk of soft tissue or joint infection related to any interventional procedure although this is vary rare. Aseptic technique is used to minimise the risk.
Side effects are rare.
Occasional reports of intolerance or allergic reactions have been noted.
Dr Kulothungan will discuss all treatment options during the consultation and explain the merits, limitations and risks associated with each procedure. You will be fully involved in the decision of any treatment.
Certain treatments may not always be appropriate for your specific condition either due to the risks or poor outcome. If in doubt please ask prior to booking.
Please note that certain procedures may not be covered or only partially funded by your insurance policy. Please check with your medical insurance provider before booking. If you are in doubt please discuss with Dr Kulothungan.