A joint is formed by the ends of two or more bones, normally covered with a thin, smooth layer of cartilage, which plays a protective role and allows smooth movement. Some parts of the joint are surrounded by a capsule called synovium. The inner layer or synovial membrane secretes a fluid which prevents friction inside the joint and is called synovial fluid. Bones are connected to one another by ligaments, composed mainly of collagen fibers, which have a certain level of elasticity. The main role of ligaments is to provide joint stability.
Joints are designed to allow smooth movements in various directions (depending on the type of joint) and also to provide mechanical support to the body.
Osteoarthritis (often abbreviated OA) is a very common disease and a leading cause of disability in patients over 55. It is part of a group of conditions called arthritis. There are many forms of arthritis, the most common being OA. Osteoarthritis may be caused by previous joint injuries or surgery. It may affect weight bearing joints such as hip or knee, but also the shoulder or smaller joints in the hands and toes.
Risk factors for the development of OA include:
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage covering the parts of the bones forming a joint tends to wear away, resulting over time in bones rubbing against each other, causing inflammation, pain and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis (OA) usually develops slowly, and gradually worsens over time. Symptoms, which may develop in one or several joints, range from mild to very severe and may include:
Your doctor will go through your medical history and will examine your affected joint. After the physical examination, an x-ray evaluation will usually be sufficient to make a diagnosis, although further tests might be necessary in some cases. An x-ray of a joint with osteoarthritis may show the following signs: narrowing of the “space” inside the joint, irregularities on the edge of the bones, areas of bony thickening and even some deformities of the joint.
Based on the examination and diagnosis, treatment options may vary. They depend on the extent of the disease and other factors, such as your age and your level of physical activity.
These options include:
Sodium hyaluronate (or hyaluronan) is a natural component of all extracellular tissue structures, including cartilage and synovial fluid. Your body naturally contains approximately 15 g of Na-HA, half of which is found in the skin. Hyaluronan plays a central role in maintaining the physiological internal environment of joints and is responsible for the viscosity and elasticity of the synovial fluid.
In osteoarthritis, hyaluronate (Na-HA) in the synovial fluid is reduced both quantitatively and qualitatively, causing a loss of shock absorbing and lubricating properties inside the joint. This results in joint pain, stiffness and possibly an onset or worsening of osteoarthritis.
With intra-articular Na-HA treatment (or visco-supplementation), the patient’s natural synovial fluid is supplemented by injections of sodium hyaluronate, with the aim to restore the physiological environment of the joint. By naturally supplementing the patient’s lubricants, viscosupplementation may reduce pain and stiffness in the treated joints for easier, more comfortable movement.
Suplasyn® is a sterile solution of highly purified sodium hyaluronate (Na-HA or “hyaluronan”). It is produced by bio-fermentation, thereby minimizing the risk of cross-species contamination or allergy to foreign proteins. Suplasyn® is sterilized by aseptic filtration.
Suplasyn® is available in over 30 countries and benefits from an experience of over10 years and millions of injections.
The treatment may consist of a single injection (SUPLASYN 1-Shot, for large joints) or repeated injections, usually 3, at weekly intervals (SUPLASYN and SUPLASYNm.d.). Your physician will decide if additional injections could be of benefit.
While symptoms may subside rapidly, the full benefits of the treatment are usually felt a few weeks after its completion.
The majority of patients experience pain relief and joint function improvement, lasting approximately 6 months, up to 12 months (1-4). This depends on the condition of the individual patient and the severity of the disease. Once the beneficial effects of a course of SUPLASYN wear off, it is possible and safe to repeat the injections (4, 7). Ask your physician for advice.
Rest is recommended in the 48 hours following each injection and strenuous activity should be avoided during the full course of the treatment.
As with any intra-articular injection, there may be a mild and short-lasting discomfort during the actual procedure.
Following the injection, some patients may experience a mild local reaction like pain, feeling of heat, redness and swelling. Usually, these symptoms disappear quickly (within a few days) and without any consequence.
If these symptoms occur, rest and apply ice locally. If you feel that symptoms are severe or if they persist you should consult your physician. Do so immediately if you have fever following the injection.
Suplasyn® is marked in the EU as a Medical Device (0473) and, as such, is not considered as a drug. It contains hyaluronan, a substance that is naturally present in your joint. Suplasyn® acts locally, directly within the affected joint and causes none of the gastrointestinal side effects associated with NSAIDs and analgesics.
1. B.Mazières et al. Joint Bone Spine (2007) 74: 453-460.
2. R.Petrella et al. Arch Intern Med Vol 162 Feb 11 2002.
3. RJ Petrella & M. Petrella. The Journal of Rheumatology 2006; 33:5.
4. RJ Petrella. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2005; 84: 278-283.
5. Rodriguez et al. (2003) EULAR poster P237.
6. Petrella et al. the Physician and Sports medicine July 2004; Vol. 32 (7)
7. Petrella et al. Orthopedic Research and Reviews 2010:2 5-9
As for any medical treatment, only a quaIified medical professional will be able to tell you if Suplasyn® represents a good treatment option for you .
Suplasyn® has been shown to relieve pain and improve joint function in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis (1-6).
It can be used as an alternative or supplement to treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or analgesics, the medicines most often used to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis. These drugs sometimes cause unacceptable side effects. For example, patients under NSAID treatment are at risk of developing a gastric ulcer. Some patients do not wish to take these drugs; for other patients they are even contra-indicated.
Your doctor will decide whether Suplasyn® is right for you if you have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, or if your current treatment needs to be changed or supplemented.
Your physician will decide which product and schedule is best for your individual condition.