Hyaluronic Acid Injection
League City Spine & Sports Medicine
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 injections help supplement the joint’s hyaluronan to create a cushion in the joint.
It’s a simple procedure that is performed in the office, in which your provider injects hyaluronic acid directly into the joint. How often you’ll need injections will depend on the specific type of hyaluronan preparation used. Most people have one injection per week for three to five weeks.
Most patients’ feel the results within a few days of the procedure, although it is possible depending on the level of degeneration, that it may take more than one injection to relieve your symptoms. Most patients experience relief that often lasts for several months. In some cases, your doctor may recommend repeat courses.
Medicare Coverage for Joint Injections
Medicare will cover knee injections once every six months, if shown to be medically necessary. Injections are covered by Medicare Part B and subject to the annual Part B deductible. (Xrays, which can be taken in our office, are required prior to Medicare approval).
There are many options when it comes to knee injections. The most used injections covered by Medicare in our office are:
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA) or Viscosupplementation- These are the technical terms for gel knee injections. As previously stated, HA injections reduce inflammation and pain by imitating the properties of natural joint fluid. Recommended for patients with diabetes because they do not raise blood sugar levels like corticosteroid injections.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)- PRP injections use a patient’s own plasma to promote soft tissue healing and reducing inflammation. Providers commonly use these injections to treat osteoarthritis due to their low risk of side effects.
- Corticosteroid- Corticosteroids are injected into joints to reduce inflammation and pain. Relief of symptoms generally last 2-3 months. These injections are limited per year.