This leads to cartilage loss and painful rubbing of bones in the joints. To increase the lubricating and shock-absorbing properties of the joint, a gel-like form of hyaluronan known as hyaluronates or hyaluronic acid may be prepared and injected into the joint. These injections, known as hyaluronate injections or viscosupplementation, can relieve pain, improve mobility, and delay the need for surgery.
Hyaluronate injections are generally performed after other non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis, such as medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections, have failed. The procedure begins with the removal of any excess joint fluid using a syringe, followed by the injection of hyaluronates into the joint. Immediately following the injection, the patient may experience pain, swelling, and warmth, which can be eased with ice applications. Weight-bearing or strenuous activities involving the joint should be avoided for the next 48 hours. The pain and swelling from osteoarthritis are gradually relieved with effects lasting for several months. A single dose or a total of 3 separate doses over several weeks may be required for optimum benefits.
While complications are rare, occasionally an allergic reaction may develop, which can intensify symptoms.
The liquid component of our blood is called plasma, which is composed of three main solid components: red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting and also contain growth factors that aid in the body's healing process. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrated mixture of platelets and plasma that contains 94% of platelets and 5 to 10 times the concentration of growth factors found in normal blood, making it more effective for healing.
PRP is a new treatment option for various orthopedic conditions, including muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries, arthritis, and fractures. PRP injections can help reduce painful symptoms, speed up healing, and delay the need for joint replacement surgeries.
The procedure starts with your doctor taking around 10 ccs of blood from the large vein in your elbow. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge machine for 10 to 15 minutes, which separates the platelets from the other blood components.
Next, the area of your body that needs treatment is numbed with a local anesthetic. The platelet-rich part of your blood is then injected into the affected area. In some cases, your doctor may use ultrasound guidance to ensure proper needle placement.
After the procedure, it's common to experience some discomfort at the injection site for a few days. Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to help manage this. Cold compresses can also be used to relieve your symptoms. Your doctor will instruct you to avoid any anti-inflammatory medications and any strenuous activities like heavy lifting or exercise.
PRP injections have few risks associated with them, but there are some potential complications to be aware of, including: