Dogged by knee pain due to arthritis? If medications, cortisone shots, and other types of conservative interventions haven’t brought you any relief, don’t give up hope just yet—try viscosupplementation. It is a safe and highly effective alternative to both medications and cortisone shots, which have potential side effects, especially with repeated use.
Read on to learn more about viscosupplementation therapy, particularly how it works for knee arthritis as well as its benefits and risks.
How Does Viscosupplementation Therapy Work?
Viscosupplementation is a minimally invasive procedure in which your doctor injects hyaluronic acid (a gel-like substance produced naturally by the body that cushions the cartilage and other tissues) into your knee. Usually, people with osteoarthritis have a lower concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints, compared to people without the condition. The goal of the procedure is to restore the level of hyaluronic acid in your knee, thereby alleviating pain and stiffness and facilitating normal function.
Hyaluronic acid has a number of important functions, including:
- Keeping your joints working smoothly;
- Promoting new cell growth, which consequently helps in the growth and development of cartilage and bone;
- Reducing inflammation and pain caused by tissue degeneration or injury; and
- Keeping tissues hydrated and moisturized.
Patients can expect a significant improvement in their symptoms after completing a course of viscosupplementation treatment, but it can take several weeks for them to see their desired results. Follow-up injections may be necessary, usually after six months.
Although viscosupplementation therapy may not work for everyone (particularly patients with very advanced-stage osteoarthritis), it has been shown to provide significant symptom relief for many patients living with the condition.
Viscosupplementation is considered a very safe and well-tolerated procedure. However, in extremely rare cases, patients may develop a local allergic reaction. Other very rare complications may include the following:
- A short-term flare-up of arthritis symptoms just after the injection
Common side effects of the treatment include pain, swelling, and warmth at the injection site. These are only temporary, but you should seek medical advice if you are concerned.
Viscosupplementation Therapy at NIVA Health
If you need help managing your knee arthritis, visit us here at NIVA Health. Our team consists of highly credentialed physicians who take a unique approach to addressing painful conditions. Viscosupplementation is just one of the many innovative, highly effective, nondrug, and nonsurgical solutions we offer that have helped scores of patients in many places in the United States feel, move, and live better.
If you would like to find out more about knee pain relief and whether you are a candidate for viscosupplementation therapy, call our office today at (866) 377-5872 to schedule a free consultation. You can also request an appointment here on our website or sign up online for a free consult.