A bad knee can seriously hamper an active lifestyle — especially if you like to go for nightly walks along the beach or hit the links for a few holes at your favorite golf course.
The pain and discomfort, typically experienced as a result of osteoarthritis or joint pain, can be debilitating. And most of the time it drives someone straight toward traditional treatment methods like cortisone shots or even surgery. But it doesn’t have to. There’s another way to alleviate symptoms without having to endure going under the knife or relying on multiple cortisone treatments that eventually fade.
It’s called Viscosupplementation and it’s an FDA-approved treatment you may have never heard of that is covered by most insurance companies.
What is Viscosupplementation?
Viscosupplementation is nothing more than a simple gel injection in the knee that provides some extra cushion and much needed lubrication to an otherwise achy joint.
These injections are comprised of a thick substance known as hyaluronate, a safe jelly that helps cushion the joints and lubricate them. Hyaluronate is a naturally occurring protein that is typically elastic and thick in young, healthy joints. Injecting the lubricant in a knee joint maligned by arthritis can help sooth inflammation and minimize pain.
Having been an approved treatment by the Federal Drug Administration since 1997, hyaluronate injections has been widely tested and has helped millions with osteoarthritis and joint pain with a low risk of side effects.
How Viscosupplementation Works
Injecting the hyaluronate gel into your knee may take some time to start working — you’ll likely need to have several injections to achieve desirable results, although some patients have reported immediate relief. For the most part, injections are typically administered weekly over a period of three to five weeks.
The procedure itself takes only about fifteen minutes. Your care provider will have you lay on your back and will apply some antiseptic to the injection site – which is typically the side of the knee cap. Your knee may ache a little following the injection, that’s normal.
Recovering from the injection involves little to no down time – although you should avoid putting any major pressure on your knee for extended periods of time for about 48 hours. You can still walk around and handle your daily routine, but you should avoid heavy exercise for a few days following the injection.
While some patients have reported pain subsiding immediately following an injection, it normally takes several weeks for results to improve. Using ice following the injection will help alleviate soreness and bruising, but patience will ultimately be your best friend.
Is Viscosupplementation Right for You?
Curious whether viscosupplementation is a good treatment option for you? If you suffer from chronic knee pain or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, then chances are you’re a good candidate.
Looking to avoid medications and surgery for your knee pain? Schedule a free phone consult today!