A Patient’s Guide to Injection Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis
Non-invasive, outpatient injection therapy is growing in popularity as a solid, non-surgical alternative for adults with conditions such as knee osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and one of the most common causes of knee pain. A healthy knee has cartilage and lubricating joint fluid, called synovial fluid, to protect and cushion the bones, allowing the knee to move and bend. In knees with osteoarthritis, the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones gradually deteriorates, and the joint fluid loses its shock-absorbing qualities. Bones may begin to rub against each other, causing the common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis: pain, stiffness and loss of movement in the joint.
Gel Injection Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis
Viscosupplementation, commonly referred to as gel injection, is an injection into the knee joint with a gel-like substance called hyaluronic acid, one of the naturally occurring lubricants in a healthy knee. Some injection gels are made from biological sources, while others are created synthetically.
Gel injections are usually given after other more conservative measures have proven ineffective. Your physician may recommend that you first complete a course of physical therapy to increase the strength in the muscles that surround your knee. An anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed, or your physician may recommend an over-the- counter anti-inflammatory as part of a less-invasive approach.
If exercise and medication do not control your symptoms, your physician may then recommend that you try gel injections. Ask one of the doctors at BJISG if one of the following injections is right for your condition.
If you have knee osteoarthritis and have not been sufficiently helped by conservative non-drug treatments like changes is diet and exercise, or over-the-counter pain medication, The Synvisc-One injection may by the right treatment for you.
Synvisc-One™ is made from a natural substance that lubricates and cushions to relieve pain and improve the knee joint’s natural shock absorbing abilities.
Gel-One™ Hyaluronate is an injectable hyaluronate gel used for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee that does not respond to other conservative treatments.
This early-intervention treatment is designed to help patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis regain their active lifestyles. Gel-One™ provides a natural supplement to depleted synovial fluid provides pain relief and improved knee function.
Gel injection is a simple, outpatient procedure that takes only a few minutes and can provide up to six months of osteoarthritis knee pain relief with just one injection. Your physician will often use a topical anesthetic to numb the skin prior to the injection. The procedure takes just a few minutes and can be given in one or both knees during the same office visit. The full course of treatment is determined by the choice of injectable.
Because the injection is made directly into the knee, these treatments don’t have the serious side effects found with many pain pills. Everyone responds differently to treatment, but in a recent medical study most patients experienced relief starting within just one month of the injection. Only your doctor can tell you if Synvisc-One™ or Gel-One™ is right for you.
Only your surgeon can help you decide what treatment is best for your knee osteorarthritis or other condition. Talk to orthopaedic surgeons Dr. Lex Kenerly and Dr. Matt Valosen and the staff at the Bone & Joint institute of South Georgia if you have questions about whether non-surgical injection therapy is the best treatment for your condition.