Viscosupplementation Treatment for Knee Arthritis
In its early stages, arthritis of the knee is treated with nonsurgical methods. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatments, including weight loss, NSAIDs for pain relief, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. If you have tried all other nonsurgical treatment methods and your pain continues to limit your activities, viscosupplementation may be an option.
Hyaluronic acid, a gel-like fluid, is injected into the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid surrounding joints where 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. Adding hyaluronic acid to the arthritic joint may facilitate movement and reduce pain.
Working with the staff at Newman Regional Health Orthopedics & Sports medicine, you will receive one to five shots over several weeks.
Depending upon the patient, the provider may administer a local anesthetic to numb the joint prior to injecting the hyaluronic acid. In some cases, you may need to have excess fluid drained from the knee proper to the injection. Usually, the aspiration and the injection are done using only one needle injected into the joint, however, there are occasions where two separate syringes are preferred.
The procedure is conducted on an outpatient basis.
For the first 48 hours after the shot, you should avoid excessive activity, such as jogging or heavy lifting.