The synovial joint acts much like a liquid buffer in the joints between our bones. The synovial liquid is a thick slippery substance enclosed in a capsule that helps with joint mobility. It helps prevent wear and tear on the cartilage, absorbs shocks, lubricates the joints and also acts as a filter to prevent harmful substances getting through to the cartilage.
Hylauronic acid makes up part of the synovial fluid which is continuously being renewed with the old hylauronic acid being broken down and replaced with new. With osteoarthritis the renewing does not happen fast enough to replace the loss through breakdown. This makes the synovial fluid becomes thinner and more watery and prevents it from doing what it should to protect your joints.
This process contributes towards the increased wear on the cartilage and may even wear away completely in some areas. This leads to the symptoms we know and associate with osteoarthritis such as pain, stiffness and swelling.
Almost everyone over the age of 60 will have the symptoms of osteoarthritis to some degree. Younger people may experience this more in the knee or hip and can be caused by the joints being overloaded through activities such as sport, lifting and carrying. It may even be triggered by abnormal joint development or from carrying too much bodyweight.
Treatment for such conditions may include an injection into the space in the joint containing synovial fluid with a solution containing hyaluronic acid such as Ostenil to restore the balance of fluid. This can help by reducing the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis such as decreasing pain and stiffness.
Injections are usually done once a week directly into the affected joint, this is done between 3 to 5 times. Improvement is not usually noticed immediately but should gradually improve over time and the improvement can last for up to a year.