Hyaluronic Acid Injections (HA Injections)
Hyaluronic Acid Injections (HA Injections) , also known as Viscosupplementation, are a nonsurgical treatment option of osteoarthritis symptoms. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring compound that is found throughout the human body (for example, skin, eye fluid, placental fluid and joint fluid). HA normally occurs in long chains in the joint fluid providing viscosity (lubrication) to the joint. As part of the arthritis disease process, HA chains are shortened and the viscosity of joint fluid decreases. Viscosupplementation injections increase the lubrication of the arthritic joint fluid, which decreases pain and improves function.
There are several products on the US market we use for Hyaluronic Acid injections. These products obtain the HA from either avian (bird) sources (rooster combs have a high concentration of HA) or from a non-infectious bacteria that grows HA on its coat. Manufacturers isolate the HA and purify into an injectable form.
In 2015, The American Medical Society of Sports Medicine (AMSSM) did an extensive meta-analysis of all scientific literature from 1960-2014 concerning Hyaluronic Acid products. Based upon the results of their study, the AMSSM recommends use of HA for appropriate patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Hyaluronic Acid injections do not provide immediate relief. Studies have shown maximum benefit is noted 4-6 weeks after completing the series of 3 weekly injections. Improvement from the injections often last 6-12 months or longer. Viscosupplementation injections are traditionally covered by commercial insurance; however, we always recommend checking with your insurance provider to confirm coverage. Our office will obtain precertification when required.