Treat Knee Osteoarthritis with Viscosupplementation
Does your knee hurt? Is the pain becoming constant? If you feel like the pain is getting worse and is preventing you from enjoying your daily activities, maybe it’s time to visit your doctor and have it checked.
It is possible that you could be suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Pain in the knee joint, tenderness or stiffness in that area and loss of knee flexibility or mobility are telltale signs of osteoarthritis. To confirm if osteoarthritis is indeed the suspect, you will have to undergo physical exams and imaging studies under a physician’s supervision.
What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease affecting the joints, including the knees. It’s different from the pain caused by inflamed joints which is only temporary. Pain felt in osteoarthritis is constant and the condition can worsen when left untreated. This is due to the wear-and-tear nature of our joint cartilage.
In such cases, time is of the essence to rescue our joints from osteoarthritis. If it has already started, proper care and treatment should be in place to manage the condition and minimize or eliminate the pain.
What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis?
Our cartilage functions as the bone end covering and provides a cushion to the constant pressure exerted in our knees. When that cartilage tears and breaks down it leads to the disease known as knee osteoarthritis. Moreso, in osteoarthritis, the synovial fluid runs out losing its ability to lubricate the knee joint causing pain, inflammation, stiffness and limitation of joint motion.
Osteoarthritis can also be attributed to genetics, obesity and trauma to the joints. That is why it is best to have your condition checked to determine the root cause and implement a suitable treatment and lifestyle change.
Viscosupplementation for Knee Osteoarthritis
While there is no exact medication to cure knee osteoarthritis, there are available treatments to manage the pain and help people stay active despite its presence. One of the more innovative treatments viable for knee osteoarthritis is viscosupplementation.
What is Viscosupplementation?
Viscosupplementation replaces the synovial fluid with a gel-like fluid known as hyaluronic acid to continually lubricate the joint for smoother movement. Since osteoarthritis concerns the loss of synovial fluid, by injecting hyaluronic acid to the knee joints, it will serve as the bone covering and lubricant, therefore, minimizing the friction that’s causing the pain.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring lubricant present in the joints, however, people with osteoarthritis are found to have lower concentrations, thus the need for viscosupplementation.
Is Viscosupplementation Right for You?
If you have osteoarthritis, yes, you should try viscosupplementation! It’s a viable option to improve your condition and relieve the pain you’re experiencing.
If you’ve tried other nonsurgical treatments before like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or steroid injections and those didn’t help, then it is worth speaking to your doctor about viscosupplementation.
Viscosupplementation is an out-patient procedure that runs for several weeks. Patients receive 1 to 5 shots of hyaluronic acids injected one week apart.
When undergoing a viscosupplementation treatment, patients should limit strenuous activity on the day of the injection. Light movement and rest are recommended.
Risks and Side Effects
With viscosupplementation, the benefits outweigh the risks. But having said that, there are minor side effects that you might experience such as warmth, swelling, or pain in the injected area. However, there is no reason to worry as these potential side effects won’t last long and a simple cold compress can do the job.
If you experience extreme swelling or inflammation, infection, or any allergic reaction, consult with your doctor immediately.
Effectiveness of Viscosupplementation
The effectiveness of the viscosupplementation treatment varies from one person to another and to the gravity of osteoarthritis condition. For mild and moderate osteoarthritis, viscosupplementation is found to be effective. It can provide pain relief to patients for an average of 6 months.
Viscosupplementation in Charlotte
Don’t let osteoarthritis affect the quality of your life. You don’t have to endure the pain it causes and limit your activities.
If you think you’ve tried every means to stop the pain and yet none of those options worked, viscosupplementation could be the solution you’re looking for!
We can help! Advanced Sports & Spine specializes in viscosupplementation treatment in Charlotte and other non-surgical, non-opiate pain management approaches.