A joint is the connection between two bones. Joints and their surrounding structures allow you to bend your elbows and knees, wiggle your hips, bend your back, turn your head, and wave your fingers. Smooth tissues called cartilage and synovium and a lubricant called synovial fluid cushion the joints, so bones do not rub together. But increasing age, mechanical injuries or obesity can affect your cartilage. This can lead to a reaction in your joint causing a degeneration leading to osteoarthritis (OA).

The World Health Organization estimated that globally, 25% of adults aged over 65 years suffer from pain and disability associated with arthritis (or osteoarthritis, OA).

OA is a degenerative debilitating condition characterized by pain, joint inflammation and joint stiffness, and results in a substantial degree of physical disability, poor quality of life, negative impact on personal relationships, and increase of economic burden on individuals, as well as on health and social care systems.

Anatomy alterations have been reported in OA patients. Osteoarthritis predominantly affects the weightbearing joints (such as the hip and knee), the spine (vertebral notches), and the hand's joints.

Structural and biochemical changes in articular cartilage occur throughout the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis; typical symptoms include pain in and around the joint and decreased movement, with ascertained loss of synovial fluid viscoelasticity that reduces the lubrication and protection of the joint.

OA treatment options include:

  • physical therapy,
  • weight loss,
  • pharmacological treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID),
  • oral chondroprotection with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate,
  • joint injections with glucocorticoids,
  • intra-articular administration of hyaluronic acid (viscosupplementation), an increasingly popular form of treatment for knee OA with a great volume of documented clinical evidence, since numerous studies have demonstrated that patients with OA of the knee have lower-than-normal levels of hyaluronic acid in their synovial fluid. This type of treatment has been included in international guidelines and recommendations, such as the EULAR's (European League Against Rheumatism) for the knee (2003), hip (2005) and hand (2007)

In this context, Fidia's know how of hyaluronic acid and over 50 years of research into this molecule have placed Fidia Farmaceutici at the forefront in the research, development, production and commercialization of hyaluronic acid preparations, to treat OA across all stages of the disease and consistently with patients' different lifestyles. Fidia also offers a complete range of dietary supplements, to help maintain a healthy joint function.