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Hyaluronic acid gel
Hyaluronic acid has more applications than just in aesthetic surgery.
When cartilage becomes less elastic and synovial fluid dries up, an injection with hyaluronic acid gel may help improve joint mobility and reduce osteoarthritis pain. Hyaluronic acid is not just a lubricant. The latest research shows that it reduces the severity of inflammatory processes such as those associated with osteoarthritis (joint wear). What's more, hyaluronic acid is generally very well tolerated as it occurs naturally in the human body.
Which diseases can be treated using this method?
Very good results have been achieved especially when treating diseases of the cartilage (the smooth surface in the joint), after injuries, and in osteoarthritis (joint damage due to heavy wear). Usually, this method is used for treating knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankle joints, elbow joints, and vertebral joints.
How long does the treatment take?
In most cases, three injections on three separate days are sufficient. If the damage is advanced, another series is necessary after one year. A session typically lasts 5-10 minutes. There is also additional individual waiting time following the injection.
What happens during the treatment?
The treatment involves an injection directly into the affected joint. The injection is made using an ultra-thin needle under strict infection control measures. The injection site is carefully selected so that the patient usually only feels a little sting. The gel is then evenly distributed. The patient can leave the surgery shortly thereafter.
When can I expect an improvement?
Due to the lubricating effect, the effect sets in quite fast, often on the same day. The healing processes take place more slowly, and a final result can only be expected 4 weeks after the last injection.
Just how precisely can you target the seat of the disease?
Most affected joints are superficial and easy to palpate. For deep or complex joints, we use an ultrasound device of the latest generation or X-ray. This allows us to inject the joint with an accuracy of only a few millimetres.
Is the therapy associated with any risks or side effects?
The therapy is very well tolerated thanks to the use of high-purity hyaluronic acid. There may be occasional irritations which manifest themselves by a sensation of warmth and mild pain. Bacterial infections may occur whenever the skin is injured, including during injections. The risk of a joint infection is typically 1:30,000. Nevertheless, adverse side effects or complications are always a possibility. You will receive detailed information about them prior to the treatment. Examples are haematomas or allergic reactions.
What does the therapy cost, and who pays for it?
The costs are covered by most private health insurance funds. The workers’ compensation board will reimburse some costs upon application. The costs are generally not covered by the statutory health insurance. The patient will be issued a private invoice according to the cost estimate, and will be required to settle the invoice himself/herself. The good news for patients is, these costs are usually tax-deductible. An injection costs typically between € 40 and € 150, depending on the joint.