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Hyaluronic acid (Ostenil or Suplasyn) is typically used to treat osteoarthritis, most commonly in the knee. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally ocurring substance within the body that helps lubricate joints and protect cartilage.
Hyaluronic acid injections have been shown to reduce pain and slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Some people will realise the benefits within days, however usually symptom reduction takes up to 3 weeks. The treatment typically relieves symptoms for 6-12 months.
Alternatives to the injection include lifestyle changes, use of anti-inflammatory medicine and physiotherapy. Occasionally, a surgical opinion may be helpful.
A diagnostic ultrasound scan will locate the specific area to be injected. The skin will be thoroughly cleaned and the needle will be guided precisely into the inflamed area. The procedure is not particularly painful.
Most people only require 1 injection every 6-12 months. This can be repeated earlier if required.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural product, so no medication is used. Hyaluronic acid is a very safe treatment with no serious side effects reported in research papers. The risks are very rare, but include infection (as with any type of injection), temporary increase in pain and minor bruising.