Osteoarthritits is a natural degenerative process that can affect all joints. During our life, our joints wear out sooner or later, depending on how resilient they are and how much stress they suffer. The result is the degeneration of cartilage.
Cartilage is non-regenerative tissue and can therefore not heal itself, once damage occurs. In a healthy joint, undamaged cartilage and synovial fluid, which is viscous (semifluid) and elastic, ensure smooth motion, joint lubrication, shock absorption and joint protection.
In an osteoarthritic joint cartilage is rough and thinned out, and the synovial fluid has lost its viscous properties. Consequently, the stress capacity of the joint is reduced due to pain.
A vicious circle is set in motion because reduced mobility and stress lead to a decrease in synovial fluid viscosity, thus in protection of the remaining cartilage.
A treatment with hyaluronic acid can improve the visco-elastic properties of the damaged synovial fluid and thus break the vicious circle of osteoarthritis.
The visco-elastic protection reduces pain and improves the stress capacity of the joint, which in turn increases mobility and normalizes the joint metabolism.
Hyaluronic acid injections are administered into the joint in five weekly sessions. Research has shown that their effect can last for 6-15 months, depending on the state of osteoarthritis.
Patients react differently to hyaluronic acid treatments and their shock-absorbing function. Complete pain relief cannot be guaranteed but prospective mobility makes hyaluronic acid treatment worth a try.
Biopolymer of N-Acetylglucosamine and gluconic acid. Synthesized in joints by cartilage and certain synovial cells.
Contained in the cartilage matrix. Plays role in absorption of large volumes of water and its reversible release during stress. Ensures joint cartilage elasticity.
Due to its reticular macromolecules, hyaluronic acid functions as a filter or strainer in the synovial fluid: they prevent the passage of inflammatory molecules and allow diffusion of cartilage metabolites.
Is also part of the synovial fluid and determines the viscosity of the latter.
The lining layer of the synovial membrane, which includes the nociceptors, is coated with hyaluronic acid.
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