One of the means of preventing the progression of osteoarthritis was popularly called "synovial fluid prosthesis". In fact, this is a miracle remedy - the derivative of hyaluronic acid.
One of the inevitable diseases of old age - osteoarthritis - has finally become the subject of medical science. Even more than 50 years ago, this disease was associated with an aging disease and had no effective treatment. An increase in the average life expectancy has led to the widespread spread of osteoarthritis and the appearance of severe forms of the disease requiring replacement of the joints (endoprosthetics). One of the means of preventing the progression of osteoarthritis was popularly called "synovial fluid prosthesis". In fact, this "miracle-drug" is nothing more than a derivative of hyaluronic acid.
The main substrate of the disease in osteoarthritis is cartilage
Normally smooth and elastic, against the background of illness, articular cartilage is thinning. It becomes rough and loses its damping properties. It changes in composition and natural lubricant - synovial fluid.
Synovial fluid in the cavity of the joint is a viscous fluid, which provides the sliding of the joint surfaces relative to each other and the shock absorption. From it, nutrients penetrate into cartilage and feed it. In osteoarthritis, the synovial fluid loses its natural properties, becoming more fluid, and for nutritional properties - poorer. It accumulates products of exchange of cartilage tissue. Damaged cartilage surfaces in the absence of adequate lubrication rub one on top of each other, which leads to even more abrasion of the cartilage and damage to the bony bone.
General directions in the treatment of osteoarthritis
Among all the medicines used to improve the quality of life in osteoarthritis, the first place is taken by analgesics. These are all known non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and simple analgesics (paracetamol), which relieve pain when moving and resting. Widely prescribed funds for local therapy (ointments, gels and creams) and physiotherapy. However, these funds can be expected only to alleviate, but not slow down the progress of the process.
Another large group of drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis is a means that has structural and modifying properties (chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, avocado, soy). They represent the active components of the cartilage, improve the metabolic processes in it and prevent its destruction. However, structural and modifying agents have little effect on pain syndrome, therefore, patients who have taken such drugs for a long time sooner or later begin to doubt the effectiveness of prescribed drugs and throw pills.
The appearance of hyaluronic acid preparations is a kind of leap in the treatment of osteoarthritis
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the synovial fluid that provides its viscosity.
Medicines - derivatives of hyaluronic acid are currently very much. They differ in composition and length of the molecule (longer molecule length - more than its molecular weight in kD - a more viscous substance). The more viscous the drug, the more effective its therapeutic properties. Recent studies show that after the introduction of hyaluronic acid into the cavity of the joint, the activity of the cartilage cells - chondrocytes - increases, which themselves begin to actively synthesize hyaluronic acid, which contributes to the restoration of an altered synovial fluid exchange.
After injection of synovial fluid prosthesis, most patients report improvement for 3-4 days after injection: pain is reduced, volume of joints increases. Quite a frequent side effect is some increase in joint pain immediately after injection and for 2-3 days (reactive synovitis), which are usually purchased in a short time and do not require additional therapy.
The positive effect of the use of the preparation of hyaluronic acid (a course of 3-5 injections in the use of drugs with a small amount of the molecule and one injection with the use of preparations prolonged action) is maintained for 6 months.
Preparations of hyaluronic acid are injected directly into the joint cavity, so when working with these drugs, the doctor should have experience of intra-articular injections.