Maybe your knee pain is worse when you wake up in the morning and are just starting to move around for the day. Or perhaps, by the end of the day, your knees are screaming for relief. Whatever your experience with knee pain, we know you want effective relief now.
Our anesthesiologist and pain management expert Syed Nasir, MD, here at Skilled Pain Care Clinic, PA, in Houston and Katy, Texas, offers an expert diagnosis of the many conditions and injuries that can cause knee pain. He creates personalized treatment plans to reduce your pain quickly and heal the underlying condition for long-term relief.
One of the many treatments available are hyaluronic acid injections, but are they useful for all types of knee pain?
About hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like substance that occurs naturally in your body. It’s part of the synovial lining that coats your joints. It’s also present in your skin and your eyes. It helps your body retain moisture and stay lubricated.
Hyaluronic acid and your knees
In your knees, and your other joints, hyaluronic acid provides cushioning and lubrication. Your bones are protected and can move smoothly against each other when you extend or flex your knee. However, conditions like osteoarthritis wear away your cartilage and synovial lining, which leads to inflammation and pain.
Will it fix everything?
Unfortunately, no. Hyaluronic acid injections won’t cure all painful knee conditions. However, the injections can be extremely effective for osteoarthritis. Hyaluronic acid injections replenish the lining of your knees, which can provide pain relief for up to six months.
However, the treatment isn’t as effective with other painful knee conditions, like ligament tears, tendinitis, or sprains. Hyaluronic acid injections restore the lining of your joints — they don’t repair your tissue.
What happens during a hyaluronic acid injection?
Here at Skilled Pain Clinic, Dr. Nasir begins with a thorough consultation and exam to identify the cause of your knee pain. He needs to understand the cause of your pain in order to prescribe the most effective treatment. If you have osteoarthritis, and Dr. Nasir thinks hyaluronic acid injections will relieve your pain, he can provide hyaluronic acid injections during a brief visit.
When you have the injection, Dr. Nasir cleans the skin on your knee and may inject a local anesthetic. If you have severe swelling, he may perform a joint aspiration to extract some of the excess fluid. Then, using an X-ray to guide the needle, he injects the hyaluronic acid into your knee.
What to expect after a hyaluronic acid injection?
Everyone responds to hyaluronic acid injections a little differently. You might have almost immediate relief, or it could take a few weeks for the inflammation and pain in your knees to subside. Soon you find that you can move more easily and without pain.
Most patients have pain relief for 4-6 months. You can have hyaluronic acid injections every six months or so. Many patients find that the injections provide enough relief that they can delay or even avoid knee replacement surgery.
This is especially important if you had a traumatic knee injury in the past, which can increase your risk of early-onset osteoarthritis. Joint replacements last for 10-15 years. With a current average life expectancy of over 72 years, if you can delay a knee replacement, you can avoid additional knee replacement surgeries later in life.
If you have knee pain that’s interfering with your life and want to find out if hyaluronic acid injections can help, call us here at Skilled Pain Care Clinic, PA, or make an appointment online.