What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a protein that is found in synovial fluid. Hyaluronic acid changes its structure under load. When the joint is heavily loaded, e.g. when running, it is “lubricated” better and the joint partners slide over each other. In the case of osteoarthritis (joint wear), the structural change is reduced and there is pain when the joints are strained.
We use purely synthetic hyaluronic acid and can thus restore the lubricating function. Due to the gel-like structure, a thicker injection needle is required so that we locally anesthetize the corresponding injection site.
Which joints is the therapy for?
In principle, all joints can be treated. The hip, knee and shoulder joints are in the foreground. But injections are also possible in ankles and wrists.
Recent studies have shown that the intervertebral joints can also be treated. The small intervertebral joints are examined using ultrasound and then injected after local anesthesia.
What does hyaluronic acid do?
Hyaluronic acid stabilizes existing cartilage. No new cartilage is formed.
After about 3 months, the body's own hyaluronic acid is back in the joint. Cell activation occurs in destroyed cartilage and the lubricating function is restored.
However, it should be emphasized that there is no healing of the cartilage, but only symptomatic therapy, which leads to pain reduction. As a result, cartilage degradation and prosthetic replacement of cartilage are delayed.
Who is the therapy suitable for?
Hyaluronic therapy is suitable for patients with third or fourth degree cartilage damage. It is important that there is still a joint gap. If there is no more joint gap, hyaluronic acid cannot work because it cannot build up new joint cartilage.
How long does the effect last?
On average, pain can be expected to be reduced by 8 to 10 months. The longest interval so far has been 3 years. Clinical studies have shown that a refresher with just one injection can provide further relief after one year.
How much does hyaluronic acid therapy cost?
Hyaluronic acid therapy is not part of statutory health care. Here, the costs of individual health care must be covered by yourself.
11. How is the recovery process going?
This question is very individual and cannot be answered in general terms. It depends on the individual case and in particular on the type of surgical procedure. In any case, it will take several weeks before you can walk again without crutches after knee surgery, until you can fully exercise your knee again, usually up to six months, in some cases even 12 months.
In the case of a cartilage cell transplant, for example, the knee is usually able to regain normal strength only one year after the operation. The recovery process for cruciate ligament ruptures also takes a very long time; a full load may take place after six months at the earliest. This is more difficult to assess during meniscus surgery. The healing process can take from one week to six weeks. Whatever knee surgery you have, it is very important that physiotherapy starts immediately after the operation and that the recovery process is well supervised by professionals. Therefore, do not miss the follow-up tests. They contribute to the fact that
Whatever knee surgery you have, it is very important that physiotherapy starts immediately after the operation and that the recovery process is well supervised by professionals. Therefore, do not miss the follow-up tests. They help make the operation worthwhile for you and hopefully you can move (almost) pain-free again.