Hyaluronic Acid Injections (HA)

What is hyaluronic acid (HA)? 

Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is a gel-like substance that is naturally found in large concentrations in our joints. The body’s own hyaluronic acid function as a lubricant and provides shock absorption that cushions our weight-bearing joints, such as the ankle. Studies have also shown that HA may play a role in the multiplication of healthy cartilage cells, which help delay the progression of arthritis.

HA is continuously broken down and replaced over time. However, when patients have arthritis, the natural hyaluronic acid in the surrounding joint fluid becomes diluted and breaks down faster. This activates the inflammatory responses that can further degrade the cartilage in your joints. 

Dr. Cottom and Dr. McAlister are one of the few providers who are qualified to administer this powerful naturally derived lubricant directly into your affected ankle joint to break the cycle of arthritis. Our goal is to deliver long-lasting pain relief needed to for you to maintain your healthy lifestyle and delay further joint damage. 

Are hyaluronic acid injections right for me? 

If you have osteoarthritis of your ankle and have tried multiple attempts of anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or corticosteroid injections without any relief, hyaluronic acid injections might be right for you. As every patient’s symptoms and medical history is unique, speak with Dr. Cottom or Dr. McAlister about whether or not you may be a candidate for HA treatment. 

What can I expect during my procedure? 

At our centers, we work with the leading manufacturers that produce hyaluronic acid injections. Depending on your severity level, you may get a single shot or get a series of shots spaced a week apart. It is important to discuss with our team if you have any allergies to avian products, such as egg or poultry, to prevent any allergic reactions during or after treatment so that we can choose the best brand of hyaluronic acid for you.  

The injection is aseptically administered the same way for all types. After cleaning the affected area, Dr. Cottom or Dr. McAlister will use ultrasound-guidance to deliver the injection precisely into ankle joint fluid. 

Are there any side effects?

Hyaluronic acid injections are relatively low risk for complications. After the injection, it is normal to feel pain, swelling, redness, or fluid build-up at the injection site. You can reduce the chances of experiencing side effects by avoiding strenuous activities, resting, and icing your ankle. Although very rare, you should remain be aware if there are any signs of infection. Call us immediately should the following occur:

  • If you have a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • If you have any nausea, fever, vomiting, chills 
  • If you have worsening pain, swelling, redness that does not go away 


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