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What are hyaluronic acid injections? 

Hyaluronic acid injections are injectable agents used to treat knee and hip pain and any other symptoms of osteoarthritis.

In a healthy joint, a thick, slippery substance called synovial fluid provides lubrication, allowing bones to glide against one another. It is especially important in preventing wear and tear by keeping the bones slightly apart and acting as a shock absorber. In individuals with osteoarthritis, an important substance in synovial fluid, known as hyaluronic acid, breaks down. Reduction of hyaluronic acid can lead to joint pain and stiffness.

Our specialist Orthopaedic Surgeons can inject hyaluronic acid into the space in your hip or knee joint, which contains synovial fluid. The non-surgical treatment works by restoring the normal balance between the breakdown and production of hyaluronic acid. This procedure is known as ‘viscosupplementation’.

 

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (also known as sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronan) is a natural substance. It is present in the body wherever moisture is stored, acting as a lubricant between layers of tissue to stop friction.

Examples are inside the eyeball itself, the tear film, the joint cartilage, the synovial fluid in the joints, all the mucous membranes of the body, but also the basic substance of the skin which consists of up to 55% hyaluronic acid.

 Hyaluronic acid takes on a variety of functions:

  • Storage: it absorbs and stores moisture in enormous quantities
  • Lubrication
  • Transport medium for nutrients
  • Filter for inflammatory molecules

Hyaluronic acid is an essential part of synovial fluid, allowing the fluid to act as a lubricant, a shock absorber and a filter, controlling the movement of cells and large molecules within the joint. This is incredibly important in weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees.

Understanding your treatment

Only one injection per joint is required, with pain relief often lasting for many months in around 80% of patients we treat. However, this can vary from individual to individual.

One such brand used at The London Clinic is OSTENIL® PLUS which can decrease pain and stiffness and improve the other symptoms of osteoarthritis. Another is Durolane, a single-injection hyaluronic acid product for the treatment of pain. 

OSTENIL

 

The hyaluronic acid in OSTENIL®PLUS is very pure and is manufactured using a process called fermentation and has been given to thousands of patients. The exact make-up of the hyaluronic acid in this injection has been carefully chosen so that it is as effective as possible in treating osteoarthritis.

Treatment risks and recovery

The risk of serious side effects arising from an injection with OSTENIL®PLUS products is incredibly low, though some patients have some pain and swelling for 24-48 hours after treatment which settles. It has no animal proteins in it so is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction; and is suitable for vegetarians. You will usually be advised to rest the joint from any strenuous activities for a few days.

Orthopaedic specialists at The London Clinic

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, Mr Arjuna Imbuldeniya and Mr Deepu Sethispecialise exclusively in treating patients who suffer with knee or hip pain, using up to date, scientifically proven treatments, which help to avoid surgery if possible. 

Mr Dinesh Nathwani, Mr David Gordon and Mr Ziali Sivardeen are also consultants who offer Ostenil or Durolane for other parts of the body including lower limb and toes. 

Where surgery might be needed our orthopaedic surgeons use less invasive techniques such as keyhole surgery or precise technology such as robotic guided surgery, which can help you recover faster. 

 RESEARCH 

Mr Imbuldeniya is also one of the few surgeons who injects hyaluronic acid into a knee after keyhole surgery to help with his patients’ recovery and pain relief. The London Clinic is one of only a handful of UK Hospitals that offer this post-surgical injection called Viscoseal®. 

COST 

The hyaluronic acid knee and hip treatment is covered by most health insurance plans. 

Please call +44 (0)20 3219 3315 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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