Updated on 17 October 2012
Though a proven and viable treatment option, awareness (and uptake) of hyaluronic acid (HA) injection was low, possibly borne out by the overall fear and resistance by patients to undergo knee surgery and or injections.
"Osteoarthritis is a serious debilitating condition with profound impact on a person's quality of life. However, there is evidence from research to show that early medical assessment and treatment improves a patient's quality of life and delays the need for surgical intervention," said visiting, Dr R Timothy Deakon, director of Oakville Sports Injury Clinic in Canada, here to exchange and share his experiences with the medical community on the less-invasive and proven results of hyaluronic acid (HA) injection to treat sports injured knees or worn-out knees of the elderly.
Dr Deakon described HA injections as another effective treatment for patients seeking to avoid knee replacement surgery and who failed to get effective and longer-lasting pain relief from standard medication or physical therapy.
He said that HA injections such as Monovisc, a singular gentle injection administered to the knee joints have been shown to provide pain relief for up to six months or more after each injection.
Dr Kevin Lee, Medical Director of the Centre For Joint & Cartilage Surgery and Singapore Sports Orthopaedic Surgery Centre, said that knee osteoarthritis is essentially widespread wear and tear of cartilage. This can be seen in older patients due to the degenerative, aging process or younger patients due to neglected sports or traumatic knee injuries.
"Once osteoarthritis sets in, the symptoms are likely to get worse over time. Patients choosing to limp around and delay treatment can worsen their condition as their cartilage may further degenerate," warned Dr Lee.