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What is the difference between Hyaluronic Acid and Arthrosamid?

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Recently, I have been asked this question by patients, physiotherapists and other doctors, so I thought I would explain this in more detail. Hopefully it will help you in making an informed decision on how to best approach the treatment of your knee arthritis.

Hyaluronic acid and Arthrosamid are both used for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, but they differ in composition, mechanism of action, and application.

Hyaluronic Acid

Composition: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid of joints. It is a glycosaminoglycan that provides lubrication and cushioning in the joint.

Mechanism of Action: HA injections aim to supplement the natural hyaluronic acid in the joint, improving lubrication and shock absorption, which can reduce pain and improve joint function. It is thought to help by restoring the viscoelastic properties of the synovial fluid, reducing inflammation, and possibly stimulating the body’s own production of HA.

Application: HA is administered through intra-articular injections directly into the knee joint. Depending on the preparation and type of HA, the treatment can involve a single injection or a series of injections over several weeks (my preference is to us a single injection preparation. In some studies, up to 75% of patients reported a clinically meaningful improvement in pain and function. The effects can last from weeks to 6 months. In about 1 to 2% of cases, patients can experience worsening pain, which is usually temporary and can be managed by pain killers.

Arthrosamid

Composition: Arthrosamid is a hydrogel composed of cross-linked polyacrylamide and water. It is designed to mimic the properties of the synovial fluid and provide long-lasting cushioning within the joint.

Mechanism of Action: Arthrosamid acts by creating a hydrogel matrix within the joint space, which provides long-term cushioning and lubrication. The hydrogel integrates with the synovial tissue and remains in the joint, offering sustained mechanical support and reducing pain over a longer duration compared to traditional treatments.

Application: Arthrosamid is administered through a single injection into the knee joint. As Arthrosamid is non-biodegradable gel implant, it remains in the joint, providing extended relief from symptoms, often for 3 years or more. Approximately 80% of patients report significant improvement in symptoms (according to functional scores (WOMAC) in their initial study). This longer duration of action can be an advantage for patients seeking a more sustained treatment option.

Summary of Differences

  • Composition: Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance, whereas Arthrosamid is a synthetic hydrogel.
  • Mechanism of Action: HA improves the natural properties of the synovial fluid and may stimulate HA production; Arthrosamid creates a lasting hydrogel matrix that integrates with synovial tissue for extended cushioning and lubrication.
  • Application: Modern HA preparation requires single injection; Arthrosamid is a single injection with longer-lasting effects.

Both treatments aim to alleviate the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, but the choice between them can depend on factors like the desired duration of relief, patient response to previous treatments, and physician recommendation.

If you  are suffering with pain and disability from knee osteoarthritis and keen to explore non-operative as well as operative options for effective management, then please get in touch. My philosophy is to always avoid surgery if possible and I will go through in detail what that involves and we will together develop a bespoke plan to get you better. You can read some feedback regarding joint preservation treatment on doctify:

https://www.doctify.com/uk/specialist/mr-parag-jaiswal#reviews

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