Knee pain is defined as a sensation of discomfort or pain in the knee, caused by overuse, poor form during physical activity and lack of proper warm up, or osteoarthritis. The knee is coordinated with a number of surrounding structures, including bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage to perform its functions. Any abnormality or external harm to any of these can result in knee pain.
Acute sudden pain is caused by fractures, sprained ligaments, tendon ruptures, meniscal injuries, knee dislocation or a dislocated kneecap. Chronic knee pain is commonly a sign of the different forms of arthritis, bursitis, infection, gout.
Intra-Articular Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections are a prescribed line of treatment for relief from joint-pain caused by osteoarthiritis. The body naturally creates hyaluronic acid to lubricate the joints and keep them functioning smoothly. It also acts as a natural shock absorber, keeping the bones from bearing the full force of impact when putting stress on the joint.
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the hyaluronic acid in the affected joint thins. Intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections therefore add to your body’s natural supply, replenishing the joint’s ability to lubricate itself and absorb shocks.
A local anaesthetic (lidocaine 1%) is administered and the hyaluronic acid is then injected into the joint. Once completed, an iodinated contrast is injected to observe immediate distribution of the hyaluronic acid and local anaesthetic and confirm which joints are being treated.
Specialists dealing with intra-articular injections generally instruct their patients to maintain a simple diary of pain for at least a week’s duration after the injection. The commonly recommended entry in the diary is pain vs. previously expected pain or same physical workload.
The intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections are administered with the aim of providing two to six weeks of pain relief. The most common short-term side effects are minor pain at the injection site and minor build-up of joint fluid. These get better within a few days.