Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid injections have been successfully used to treat osteoarthritis since 1997. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this treatment.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found throughout the body which is in particularly large concentrations within joints. It is responsible for cushioning and lubricating the joint to keep it working smoothly. With the onset of osteoarthritis, the hyaluronic acid in your joints decreases and thins, making it less effective at lubricating and protecting the joint.
What Are Hyaluronic Acid Injections?
Hyaluronic acid injections are designed to supplement an arthritic joint with the lubricant it needs to restore smooth function and protect cartilage, thereby reducing pain and stiffness. The treatment is usually administered in a series ranging from 3-5 injections, depending on the brand used.
What Are the Side Effects?
The most common side effect is mild soreness at the injection site, though most patients experience very little of this.
Because hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring within the body, allergic reactions are also extremely rare with this medication, though there are a few brands on the market with higher allergy profiles due to their use of additives in their formulations (we avoid these specific brands in our clinic and choose only those with lower allergy profiles).
How Long Do the Injections Last?
Hyaluronic acid injections usually begin relieving pain near the final injection of the series, with pain relief peaking a few weeks after finishing treatment. The effects generally last six months, on average.
Is This Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Hyaluronic acid injections ARE covered by Medicare and most major insurance policies. Coverage usually allows for an entire series of injections and is repeatable every six months.