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How Effective Is Viscosupplementation for Alleviating Knee Pain?

Millions of Americans have osteoarthritis -- and for 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60, it’s knee arthritis. When your knee is painful, swollen, and stiff, it can make walking and moving through your daily life a challenge.

There are plenty of conservative treatments available for knee arthritis, but sometimes these options just aren’t enough. If your quality of life is impacted by knee arthritis, it’s time to consider your other options.

With offices in Manhattan and Astoria, New York, Manhattan Orthopedics is here to help you find effective knee pain relief. Our doctors understand how frustrating it can be when conservative treatments for osteoarthritis don’t make a difference for your pain, and the good news is that you may not have to turn to surgery.

Viscosupplementation is a nonsurgical option to relieve osteoarthritis pain in the knees when other conservative options have failed. Treatment includes a series of injections to build up fluid inside your knee to help the joint move more smoothly. 

How viscosupplementation for osteoarthritis works

Synovial fluid is a natural substance that lubricates healthy joints. It keeps the cartilage between bones slick, while the cartilage itself acts as a tough cushion to keep bones from grinding against each other.

Osteoarthritis often develops with age, as cartilage begins drying out and wearing away. The amount of synovial fluid in joints decreases, too, and dry joints are more likely to be stiff and painful. Dryness makes arthritis symptoms worse, and you might find that pain impacts your mobility and your quality of life.

If you’re suffering from severe arthritis in your knee, viscosupplementation can restore fluid to your joint capsule. The injections contain hyaluron, a substance that helps the cartilage stay slick and keeps the bones in your joint moving smoothly once again.

Increasing the amount of fluid in your knee joint can lessen your pain and improve your mobility. Loss of joint fluid is a major contributing factor to joint deterioration and osteoarthritis, but viscosupplementation can stop or even reverse this damage by alleviating pain and increasing lubrication.

Viscosupplementation could be a good treatment option for you if you haven’t found adequate pain relief with other conservative arthritis treatments. In some cases, it’s effective enough to eliminate the need for knee replacement surgery.

Viscosupplementation can help manage pain for months 

When you come to Manhattan Orthopedics for your knee pain, we begin with a comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms and a review of your medical history. We may suggest viscosupplementation if you’ve tried other conserviative treatments for knee arthritis, but you’re still living with pain and other bothersome symptoms. 

We recommend a series of injections spaced about a week apart for most people. Each injection takes just a few minutes in the office. While there’s little risk of side effects following treatment, be sure to follow our guidelines and avoid strenuous activity for up to 48 hours.

After you receive your injections, it may take a few weeks for the fluid in your joint capsule to begin working. Expect maximum pain relief to develop 8-12 weeks after treatment. For many, the effects continue to last for about six months.

You may be a candidate for additional viscosupplementation injections after the first round begins to fade. If treatment adequately addresses your pain, it could be an effective alternative to invasive knee replacement surgery.

If you don’t find relief from your arthritis pain with viscosupplementation, don’t hesitate to talk to our doctors. Effective pain management is different for every individual, and we’re here to help you find a treatment strategy that works for you.

You don’t have to settle for a life of knee pain. Schedule an appointment with our team to find out if viscosupplementation could be right for you. Call one of our two convenient locations or request an appointment online today.

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