Hyaluronic Acid Gel Injections for Knee Pain: What to Expect

Jul 01, 2023
Hyaluronic Acid Gel Injections for Knee Pain: What to Expect
Knee pain could make or break your summer. If your knee pain hasn’t improved with home care or conservative treatments, consider asking your provider about hyaluronic acid gel injections. 

Knee pain from arthritis, tendinitis, torn cartilage, and other musculoskeletal complications can intensify if you don’t find a way to manage it quickly. Conservative treatments are always preferred, and there are dozens of options to help you short of surgery. 

Haddis T. Hagos, MD, and Brent Earls, MD, rely on detailed medical exams to find out what’s causing your persistent knee pain. They also ask you about your activity level. In addition to any treatments you receive for knee pain, modifying your activity according to your provider’s instructions could make or break the effectiveness of treatment. 

Here at Pain Management Associates LLC in Greenbelt, Maryland, you can find some of the most effective noninvasive treatments for knee pain including hyaluronic acid (HA) injections. These injections don’t contain corticosteroids. Instead, HA is a soft and cushy gel that soothes and lubricates stiff and painful joints. When applied to knee pain, the treatment is called viscosupplementation. 

For any treatment you’ve never had before, finding out what to expect can ease your mind about what’s to come. Read our guide before your visit so you can go into treatment with confidence and certainty. 

Hyaluronic acid: What is it?

First, let’s go over what exactly HA is. It’s not a medication. In fact, you can find it naturally in your body. Inside your joints, HA is a natural lubricant that allows your joints to move fluidly. That’s why injecting the substance into painful joints often results in less pain and better function. 

Osteoarthritis reduces the concentration of HA within affected joints, thus reducing its lubricating abilities. That’s why HA injections are an excellent treatment option for knee pain from osteoarthritis. 

Your first treatment

Viscosupplementation typically involves 1-5 injections over several weeks. Your provider begins the process by first extracting any excessive fluid buildup out of your knee joint. This makes space for the injection itself. In most cases, the same needle can be used for the aspiration (fluid removal) as the injection itself: Your provider simply switches the syringes. 

The discomfort associated with HA injections varies from person to person, but most patients agree that it isn’t severe. Your provider may inject a mild pain reliever before injecting the hyaluronic acid to prevent discomfort. 

After your appointment

Following your hyaluronic injections for knee pain, you should avoid strenuous activities like running, biking, or lifting weights for about 48 hours. This gives the HA time to settle and integrate into the joint. 

If you experience any swelling or discomfort after injections, don’t panic. These are normal side effects and you can manage them by icing and resting your knee joint. 

Anticipated results

Results from HA injections can vary, but on average, HA injections result in about six months of relief for patients with knee pain. Your provider might advise you to repeat the injections once every six months if they’re successful the first time. They don’t work repeatedly forever, but they can make a positive long-term difference in your symptoms. 

You can discuss hyaluronic acid injections for knee pain with your provider during your next visit to Pain Management Associates LLC. Call the office today or request an appointment online any time.