Hyalgan injections may benefit patients suffering from osteoarthritis who have not responded to traditional physical therapy or N-SAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen). Hyalgan is a highly purified natural sodium hyaluronate, which is made from hyaluronan, a substance present in joint tissues and synovial fluid.
A doctor administers Hyalgan through a series of five weekly injections. Before each injection, your doctor will assess the position of your patella and determine the injection site. After cleaning the area with Betadine or alcohol, you will receive local anesthesia in the form of either an injection or spray to numb the area. If the knee is swollen, your doctor will aspirate the area by withdrawing the fluid from your knee. After he has removed the fluid, he will inject the Hyalgan directly into the joint.
You may experience pain at the injection site, or pain in the joint for several hours after the injection; however, it is mild and temporary. Some patients feel the effectiveness of Hyalgan injections after the first shot, although others do not feel relief until the fifth injection. Either way, the patient will continue the course of treatment until the conclusion of all five shots. Hyalgan injections relieve osteoarthritis pain for a period of six to twelve months.
Possible side effects include pain at the injection site, swelling, a mild rash or redness, bruising, or heat. Most side effects are mild and generally dissipate quickly; however, in rare cases there is a possibility of an allergic reaction. Hyalgan is an avian product, so you should notify your doctor if you are allergic to eggs, poultry or feathers. Finally, inform your doctor if you are pregnant before receiving the injections.
Last updated: 26-Oct-01