Health – Fight osteoarthritis with hyaluronic acid infiltrations at the San Giorgio de Lariano center

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Intra-articular infiltrations: hyaluronic acid

With this short article we want to answer some questions that patients often ask the professional. These answers are of a general nature for informational purposes only and obviously cannot replace the specific information that the orthopedist gives to the patient during the visit to the specialist.

What is hyaluronic acid?

First of all, Hyaluronic Acid is a substance that the body produces naturally, it is a component present in all joints and which aims to minimize mechanical pressure during movement.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by a progressive “degeneration” of the tissues that make up the joints. The most affected are the “load” joints, such as the knee, hip, spine. As it is a slowly progressive disease, the people most affected are the elderly.

What is the cause?

It can happen that lifestyle, work, habits as well as predisposing genetic factors and concomitant environmental factors in various ways determine a state of repeated “overload” of the joints. The repeated “overload” can be the consequence of events, even seemingly trivial ones, which in any case characterize the person’s “daily life” and which in the long run can lead to “chronic inflammation”. For example, a condition of severe obesity can make even the work she does every day to keep the house in order “traumatic” for a housewife.
Joint pain, the first sign of overload, is sometimes ignored, sometimes resolved temporarily by the administration of analgesics or anti-inflammatories which in the long run become ineffective and no longer bring any relief. In the meantime, the overload remains and therefore the inflammatory stimulus it produces and thus, little by little, over the years, the foundations are laid for what will be the definitive state of osteoarthritis.
This process is accompanied by a slow and gradual decrease in the “viscoelastic properties” of the liquids that are inside the joints and which, at a certain moment, are no longer able to effectively support the joint overload. Joint motility is reduced, pain is still present and helps to structure even smaller movements to avoid pain.

What is an infiltration?

The technical term is “viscosupplementation”, that is to say the injection of hyaluronic acid directly into the joint structure.
Since the 1970s, it has been established that hyaluronic acid is capable of at least partially restoring the viscoelastic properties of joint fluids and therefore of causing a halt or at least a slowing down of the degenerative process and consequently significant relief of painful symptoms. .

Osteoarthritis: hyaluronic acid or prosthesis?

Hyaluronic acid can be one of the weapons available to your doctor to postpone surgery, sometimes to avoid the need for it, or to effectively manage the symptoms of patients who, for various reasons, cannot face surgery. .

What should I do after Hyaluronic Acid infiltrations?

Although hyaluronic acid can be effective, it cannot eliminate the causal factors that led to the need for infiltration from the person’s life. The accompaniment of a competent physiotherapist is essential to resume the exercise of a healthy motor activity, atraumatic, progressive, to the extent of the needs and capacities of the person. Not doing any activity is just as inadvisable as resuming motor activity in a disproportionate and therefore traumatic way.

Which hyaluronic acid to choose?

“There are different formulations that classify hyaluronic acid that can be found on the market according to “molecular weight” or other physico-chemical properties, in principle low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can be chosen in early stages of osteoarthritis because according to some authors it stimulates the metabolism of cells that produce cartilage, so it can be used to support a rehabilitation process in the early stages of osteoarthritis. molecule also has physical properties capable of restoring the viscoelastic characteristics of the joint fluid and remains longer inside the joint; this is due to the fact that the process of degradation of the molecule requires a longer time, having a cost higher, it is oriented to use it in the most advanced conditions of osteoarthritis”.


San Giorgio Center
Via G. Mechelli, 23-27,
00076 Lariano (RM)
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