The joints in the body contain a joint fluid which provides lubrication and nutrition for the bones and cartilages. Recent research suggests that patients who suffer from mild to severe osteoarthritis have a reduced amount of fluid which causes pain in the knee and other joints. As a new non-surgical procedure, injections for knee pain have been established to help relieve the pain.
This treatment with viscosupplementation has recently been approved by the FDA as “cooled radio frequency ablation” for patients who cannot have a surgery.
Injections for Knee Pain
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery recently published a study conducted for the relief of knee stiffness and pain funded by SciVision Biotech. “Viscosupplementation with hyaluronan is a well-established treatment for knee osteoarthritis. The goal is to reduce pain and improve inflammatory, and anabolic effects” says the research.
How does Hyaluronic Acid Injection work?
The science of Hyaluronic acid injections has yet to be elaborated. However, experts state that with an increase in the amount of joint fluid, pain can be controlled. As the knee cartilage erodes away, the lack of lubrication between bones causes pain and inflammation. To improve the elasticity hyaluronic acid injections are used as an alternative treatment for treating the pain of osteoarthritis.
The goals of injecting viscosupplementation are:
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Improve the movement of joints
- Control the progression of osteoarthritis
- Strengthen the cartilages for everyday movements.
The treatment with this injection works in the following manner:
- A small amount of acid, commonly 2Ml is injected in the joint
- It covers the bone cartilages to reduce friction between the joints
- Serves as a cushion during everyday activities
Is it used for all kinds of knee pain?
Although mostly used to treat the pain of the knee, it can also be used for treating the following conditions:
- Hip joint pain
- Ankle and shoulder joints
However, using the procedure for a different joint than the knee may not be covered by insurers as it is considered “experimental” in nature. It is best to check first to see if insurance will cover the cost.
The benefits of the injections are typically witnessed in a period of few days and results are not immediate. Patients may have a slightly heightened sense of pain after the treatment, but that lasts only till the body the registers the change. The period of effectiveness of the treatment is 3-6 months.
Can the treatment be repeated?
If after the treatment with viscosupplementation the pain continues, patients may repeat another cycle of injections. Insurance companies provide coverage for this treatment for up to two rounds, or 3 months.
This treatment is safe to be repeated again, but may not serve as a permanent solution in severe cases. It is recommended to consult with your physician the condition of your knee joint. If the pain continues, consider other treatment options.
For patients who cannot have a knee surgery, this treatment acts as a hope. But the effectiveness of the injections is not permanent which may eventually have you opt for other possible options, including surgery.