Hyaluronic acid injections are normally used for the treatment of osteoarthritis by reducing pain and improving the function of our joints. It can be used in the knee, or in any of the other joints in the body that are classified as synovial.
What is a Synovial Joint?
A synovial joint is one in which the ends of the bones are enclosed in a capsule containing a thick, slippery liquid called synovial fluid. The bone ends are covered in a smooth layer of a tough, rubbery substance called cartilage. The synovial fluid helps protect the cartilage from wear and tear by keeping the bones slightly apart and by acting as a shock absorber and lubricant. It also acts as a filter, letting nutrients reach the cartilage, but blocking the passage of harmful cells and substances.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
The most important component of synovial fluid is a substance called hyaluronic acid. It is this substance that allows the synovial fluid to perform its cartilage saving properties. Hyaluronic acid is continuously broken down and replaced. Normally, there is an exact balance between the breakdown of old hyaluronic acid and the production of new hyaluronic acid. In osteoarthritis, however, this balance is disturbed and breakdown happens faster than production. As a result, the synovial fluid becomes watery and stops working properly. As a result the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. The thinning of the synovial fluid and wearing away of the cartilage leads to symptoms of osteoarthritis, which include pain, stiffness and swelling.
What are Ostenil injections?
Ostenil injections are used by our podiatrists here at Leyton Foot Clinic to treat a condition of the big toe joint called hallux limitus. Hallux limitus is an osteoarthritic condition that affects the big toe joint, which leads to limited movement, pain and inflammation.
NOTE: Our Podiatrists are also qualified to inject the knee, and help you eradicate the pain from osteoarthritis of the knee joint.
Ostenil Injections contain an ingredient called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps to restore synovial joints that have been affected by osteoarthritis.
The big toe joint is a synovial joint. Synovial joints are the most moveable joints in the body. Synovial joints produce a fluid called synovium, which lubricates the joint and allows it to be highly mobile. Synovium contains a very important ingredient called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is the component of synovium that enables it to perform four key functions:
- It acts as a shock absorber for the cartilage in between the joint
- It protects against wear and tear of the cartilage by keeping the bones slightly apart
- It provides lubrication to the joint
- It is a filter that allows in nutrients but blocks out anything harmful
When a person has osteoarthritis of the big toe joint the synovium is broken down faster than it is re-produced, it therefore stops working. Ostenil injections aim to replace the lost synovium and therefore improve pain, inflammation and movement.
How do Ostenil injections work?
Ostenil injections work by re-placing the synovial fluid that is lost through the process of osteoarthritis; the key ingredient in synovium is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is the ingredient in synovium that enables the synovial joints to work properly. Ostenil injections contain hyaluronic acid, which is injected directly into the joint space of the big toe so that the lost fluid can be replaced. The result of Ostenil injections at the big toe joint is a reduction in pain and inflammation and an increase in movement.
Benefit of Ostenil injections?
The benefits of Ostenil injections for the treatment of hallux limitus (an osteoarthritis condition of the big toe joint) include:
- Decrease in pain
- Improvement in joint mobility
- Freedom from osteoarthritis
- Decrease in inflammation
- Quick and simple procedure
- Results may last for several months
Who is suitable for Ostenil injections?
Ostenil injections are suitable for people who have hallux limitus. Hallux limitus is an osteoarthritic condition that affects the big toe joint. The result of hallux limitus is pain, inflammation and limited movement at the big toe joint.
As Ostenil is a prescribed medication a thorough history will need to be obtained prior to any injection taking place. If you are not suitable for the injection this will be discussed in the assessment.
Those who may not be suitable for Ostenil injections include:
- Pregnant and lactating women
- People with an inflammatory condition (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)
Ostenil is a solution containing hyaluronic acid. It is injected into the space in the joint that contains synovial fluid and works by restoring the normal balance between the breakdown and production of hyaluronic acid. This effect of Ostenil means that it can decrease pain and stiffness and improve the other symptoms of osteoarthritis.