Viscosupplementation Treatment for Knee Pain and Arthritis

  • Viscosupplementation is a procedure in which a thick fluid called hyaluronate is injected into the knee joint to treat knee pain.
  • Hyaluronate will improve the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, reduce the pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, improve mobility, and provide a higher and more comfortable level of activity.

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Knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. It develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options available to help people manage pain and stay active.

Viscosupplementation is a procedure in which a thick fluid called hyaluronate is injected into the knee joint.  it is thought that hyaluronate will improve the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, reduce the pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, improve mobility, and provide a higher and more comfortable level of activity. If you have tried all other nonsurgical treatment methods and your pain continues to limit your activities, viscosupplementation may be an option.



damage kneeWhat is osteoarthritis?

Some people who have constant pain in their knees have a condition called osteoarthritis. Unlike the temporary pain and inflammation caused in a joint by an overactive immune system response, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease.

Osteoarthritis mostly affects the cartilage. Cartilage is the tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. When healthy, cartilage allows bones to glide over one another and provides a "shock absorber" function. The normal knee joint also contains a small amount of fluid called synovial fluid, which is a thick, gel-like substance that cushions the joint and provides lubrication to reduce friction.

What causes osteoarthritis?

In osteoarthritis, the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. Adding to the problem, the synovial fluid in your knees loses its ability to lubricate the joint. This combination causes pain and stiffness, limitation of joint motion, and some inflammation in your knees.

What is viscosupplementation?

viscosup Viscosupplementation is a procedure in which a thick fluid called hyaluronate is injected into the knee joint.  it is thought that hyaluronate will improve the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, reduce the pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, improve mobility, and provide a higher and more comfortable level of activity.

In this procedure, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid surrounding joints. It acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads. People with osteoarthritis have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints. The theory is that adding hyaluronic acid to the arthritic joint will facilitate movement and reduce pain.


Procedure

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Depending on the product used, you will receive one to five shots over several weeks.
During the procedure, if there is any swelling in your knee, your doctor will remove (aspirate) the excess fluids before injecting the hyaluronic acid. Usually, the aspiration and the injection are done using only one needle injected into the joint, Some doctors may prefer to use two separate syringes.
For the first 48 hours after the shot, you should avoid excessive weight bearing on the leg, such as standing for long periods, jogging or heavy lifting.


 

Side Effects

You may notice a local reaction, such as pain, warmth, and slight swelling immediately after the shot. These symptoms generally do not last long. You may want to apply an ice pack to help ease them.

Complications: Rarely, patients may develop a local allergy-like reaction in the knee. In these cases, the knee may become full of fluid, red, warm, and painful. If this occurs, contact your doctor immediately. Infection and bleeding are also very rare complications of this procedure.

Outcomes

As is noted above, some patients will not be helped by viscosupplementation. For those who report pain relief with the procedure, it may take several weeks to notice an improvement. How long the effects last varies. Most patients report the greatest pain relief 8 to 12 weeks after beginning treatment. The length of pain relief varies; some patients have reported benefits for more than 6 months following the injections. Some patients report pain-relieving effects for several months following the injections.

If the injections are effective they may be repeated after a period of time, usually 6 months. Although some patients report relief of arthritis symptoms with viscosupplementation, the procedure has never been shown to reverse the arthritic process or re-grow cartilage.

It has been proposed that viscosupplementation is most effective if the arthritis is in its early stages (mild to moderate), but more research is needed to support this.

Talk to your doctor about viscosupplementation if you have osteoarthritis and have not found pain relief from other means such as exercise, physical therapy, weight loss, use of heat and cold, use of a cane or other product that relieves pressure on the knee, use of pain relievers, or steroid injections.

 

If you or someone close to you suffers from chronic knee pain, and that negatively interfere with their physical emotional, socio-labor and family sphere, consult us in our pain clinic to offer you the most advanced medical technology such as viscosupplementation for relief and pain management of your knee pain; that you can recover the optimal physical and functional recovery quickly allowing the incorporation into their socio-occupational life and enjoyable experiences in life.

Dr. Roque has a vast and extensive experience in the mentioned field; In addition, the Center for pain management, located in the 543 of the 45th St. Union City NJ - phone 201-766-6469 - is fully equipped with innovative cutting-edge equipment and technology required to practice this type of procedures safely and effectively

 

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