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How Do HA Joint Injections for Knee Pain Work?

If you have osteoarthritis of the knee or another knee condition that causes pain and stiffness, an injection of hyaluronic acid is a treatment option that may provide relief. This type of injection helps lubricate the joint so that it works more smoothly.

Dr. George Ackerman is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery as well as the treatment of general orthopedic injuries and trauma, including hyaluronic acid joint injections.


What are hyaluronic acid joint injections?

Hyaluronic acid is similar to a substance that occurs naturally in the joints, and acts as both a lubricant and a shock absorber, helping the joint to work properly. Hyaluronic acid injections, also known as HA injections or gel injections, are used to treat knee pain in people with osteoarthritis of the knee for whom other treatments have been unsuccessful.


How do hyaluronic acid joint injections for knee pain work?

In a normal, healthy joint, a fluid called hyaluronan provides lubrication. However, if you have osteoarthritis, there is less supply of this fluid. Hyaluronic acid joint injections supplement the joint’s hyaluronan with hyaluronic acid.

It’s a simple procedure that is performed in the office, in which your doctor injects hyaluronic acid directly into the area around the joint. How often you’ll need injections will depend on the specific type of hyaluronan preparation used, but most people have one injection per week for three to five weeks.

If the treatment is effective, you may see results within days—although it may take more than one injection to make the pain go away—and the relief often lasts for several months. In some cases, your doctor may recommend repeat courses. At present, this treatment is only FDA-approved for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, though some patients opt to try the treatment on other joints.


Are there any precautions for HA injections?

There are few side effects to hyaluronic acid joint injections, although some people do have a mild reaction that causes temporary pain and swelling in the joint. It is, however, important to not strain the affected joint after receiving the injections. You should avoid any strenuous activities—such as jogging, tennis, heavy lifting or even being on your feet for long periods—for two days after the treatment.

Dr. Ackerman will closely monitor your progress while you receive injections. This will allow him to see whether the treatment is working properly and to decide whether you should continue. If you experience pain or swelling that doesn’t go away, you should notify Dr. Ackerman.


Where can I find hyaluronic acid joint injections in NYC and Long Island?

Dr. George Ackerman is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at NY Orthopedics who has performed extensive research in cartilage repair and restoration and presented research and instructional lectures at numerous orthopedic conferences. If you are looking to learn more about hyaluronic acid joint injections for knee pain or to find out whether you are a candidate for this treatment, schedule your appointment with Dr. Ackerman today.

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