What is HA Therapy?
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) therapy, also known as viscosupplementation, is a regenerative and preventative focused treatment plan for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee and/or ankle.
Who Can Benefit from HA Therapy
You may be eligible for this procedure if you have have exhausted standard treatment options, such as weight control, steroid injections, and medication, and want to avoid invasive surgical procedures.
Osteoarthritis is a “drying” problem of the joints, and hyaluronic acid therapy “replenish the oil” in the knee or ankle to teach your body’s fluid-producing cells how to start producing new cells again.
According to a study of 182,000 people during the time leading up to their total knee replacement procedures (TKR) with and without HA therapy, the patients that had HA therapy averaged 17 months until a TKR, rather than 8.5 months for a patient who did not have HA therapy. The study also found that with subsequent injections, this delay to surgery increased even more.
Our Approach to HA Therapy
At Apple Healthcare Group, our HA treatment plan involves a four-pronged approach that includes: (1) evaluation and proper diagnosis, (2) Supartz injection, (3) physical/exercise therapy, and (4) specialized bracing (if needed).
Step 1: Evaluation and Proper Diagnosis
Osteoarthritis involves the degeneration of joints and surrounding tissue area, you may be experiencing symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and decreased movement.. If you have been suffering from this condition for a while, you have probably tried many of the standard treatments options available, but still are not finding relief.
When you come to Apple Healthcare Group, we will conduct a thorough evaluation of your condition and recommend a proper diagnosis based on your immediate and long-term needs. One of these options may be HA therapy if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Other regenerative focused treatment options include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or stem cell therapy.
Step 2: Supartz Injection
Not all viscosupplementation injection options are created equal. Supartz is a pure, natural form of hyaluronic acid and is not considered a medical drug. It is the most effective of all viscosupplements due to its long lasting patient results. When injected, this acid cushions and lubricates your joints and has very few side effects and interactions.
For the injection, our medical specialists are guided by fluoroscopy to maintain the highest degree of accuracy for the injection location. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, imaging strategies like this are 99 percent accurate versus non-imaging techniques that are only 75 percent accurate. For this reason, at Apple Healthcare group, we never guess, we always see before we start the procedure.
Step 3: Physical/Exercise Therapy
Some patients will experience additional improvements from physical or exercise therapy in addition to their HA injections. This treatment plan will involve a series of stretches, exercises, and challenges that will help lessen stiffness and pain in the knee or ankle area. Our skilled physical therapy team will strive to help you boost your optimal health goals in addition to the HA therapy you are already receiving.
Step 4: Specialized Bracing
Depending on your needs, we may recommend specialized bracing to maximize your potential of finding lasting relief. This bracing technique will reduce pressure throughout your knee, align it, and hopefully restore strength to the area.
Our braces are considered “Durable Medical Equipment” (DME), and are able to be fitted to your unique needs. They are also longer-lasting and of higher-quality than off-the-shelf braces that you can buy in retail stores.
Think HA therapy might be right for you? Want to learn more? Schedule an evaluation today, by calling us at(865) 769-9685. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or subscribe to our Newsletter for more information during Regenerative Medicine Month.