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Treatment of arthritis with hyaluronic acid

Despite intensive research, the precise circumstances leading to arthritis in the joints are still not fully understood. Since arthritis is not curable, treatment aims to reduce pain, improve mobility and activity, regain any reduction in quality of life and prevent further advance of the condition.

Along with general measures like weight reduction or avoiding excess weight and adjusting physical activity, there are other conservative treatments such as physiotherapy, orthopaedic aids, anaesthetics and cortisone for relief or arthritic pain. Surgical intervention is only considered if all the conservative measures have been exhausted. In the case of advanced and conservatively exhausted joints, partial or total joint replacement  then come into consideration.

However, all treatment options should have been exhausted before it comes to this!

What opportunities does hyaluronic acid offer arthritis treatment?

Hyaluronic acid is crucial for healthy joint function: it is the main constituent of synovial fluid and an important constituent of cartilage. In healthy joints, synovial fluid is formed in sufficient quantity by the synovial membrane in the joint capsule. Used hyaluronic acid is broken down in the synovial fluid and replaced with new. With increasing age, increasing wear on the joint or under high weight load on the joint, the balance between production and breaking down of hyaluronic acid is shifted. Less and less functional hyaluronic acid is produced, even though this is fundamentally necessary for frictionless joint function. Supplementing it with hyaluronic acid injection treatment can therefore be an effective treatment option which supports the joint.

Hyaluronic acid is successfully used in orthopaedics in the treatment of arthritis, especially arthritis in the knee, and where there is cartilage damage.


What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule (polysaccharide), which occurs almost everywhere in the human body. Hyaluronic acid retains water and so contributes to frictionless mechanics in the joints. Its gel-like property has a sort of shock-absorbing function in the joints.

Hyaluronic acid is found in greater quantities in particular in:

  • Skin
  • Bones
  • Intervertebral discs
  • Synovial fluid
  • The vitreous body of the eye

Treatment of arthritis with artificial hyaluronic acid

Arthritis and the breaking down of synovial fluid are the most common indications for hyaluronic acid treatment. Diseased joints with degenerate cartilage continue to produce only significantly reduced quantities of the body’s own hyaluronic acid. The joint is re-lubricated using hyaluronic acid and the movement is no longer hindered by friction. Repeated injections slow the fast breakdown of the hyaluronic acid in the joint. The treatment has few side effects unless there is an intolerance of the substance itself. The improvement in the complaint can last for months or years. However, treatment with hyaluronic acid does become less effective with very advanced arthritis.

hyaluronsaeure knie

What is the procedure for orthopaedic hyaluronic acid treatment? 

A comprehensive consultancy with the patient takes place before every treatment.

The injection point is sterilised. Then the hyaluronic acid is injected as a preparation into the joint space. A course consists of 3 to 5 hyaluronic acid injections, usually given at weekly intervals. On the day of the injection, you should avoid swimming, sports and the sauna.

The treatment is not covered by the statutory health insurance companies. 

Dr. Klotz has many years of experience in the use of hyaluronic acid for arthritis.

Please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!


Along with my work as Senior Consultant at the University Hospital in Linz, I run my “Wahlarzt” [elective doctor] surgeries in Linz and Vienna. I will be pleased to give you comprehensive advice there.

Marienkrankenhaus Soest

Chefarzt Orthopädie & Unfallchirurgie
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