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Joint surgery patients may now benefit from advanced hyaluronic acid therapy

Published on 30 November 2010

European patients who are experiencing pain after undergoing arthroscopic joint surgery can now benefit from advanced hyaluronic acid therapy, after a treatment called Durolane was granted a major extension to its EU license.

Durolane is an injectable treatment that replaces the body's natural supply of hyaluronic acid - a substance that lubricates and cushions the joints.

The treatment is injected directly into the affected joint, where it can help to reduce post-operative pain and restore function.

It was previously only available to patients being treated for mild to moderate hip or knee osteoarthritis.

Now, it can be used in other situations, enabling its use in osteoarthritis patients undergoing arthroscopic (keyhole) joint surgery and in those who have undergone keyhole surgery to repair the joint, for up to three months after the procedure.

It can also now be used in osteoarthritis patients with post-operative pain in joints other than their hips or knees, such as their fingers or ankles.

Richard Villar, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and co-founder of the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy, explained that some patients experience severe pain following keyhole surgery.

"Today's recognition that hyaluronic acid replacement has a significant role to play in managing post-arthroscopic pain, as well as its wide use in the treatment of osteoarthritis, is welcome news for patients who are keen to get back to a normal lifestyle following such a procedure," he said.

However, a spokeswoman for Arthritis Research UK said that hyaluronic acid was not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of osteoarthritis because it was not considered to be sufficiently cost-effective to be prescribed on the NHS.

Why do some joint replacement patients wait longer than others for surgery? ask researchers


A team of researchers are aiming to find out why some people waiting for a hip or knee replacement have to wait longer than others for surgery.

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