By Physicians Rehabilitation
The knee is notorious for pain and injury. Knee pain can occur from an injury or a condition like osteoarthritis, and can impact activities of everyday life. There are many remedies for this condition, including rest, anti-inflammatory medications and using knee braces. For individuals whose knee pain progresses or does not respond to other types of treatment, injections may be an option to help relieve pain and discomfort without requiring surgery.
When regular treatments are not working well enough such as medication management with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, intra-articular injections can be a great option.
There is a substance known as hyaluronic acid that is naturally found in the synovial fluid of human knee joints. It works to lubricate and cushion the knee joint, being the human equivalent of “motor oil”. In 1997 the FDA approved the first hyaluronic acid preparation made from rooster combs for usage in knee injections for osteoarthritis.
Currently there are multiple FDA approved hyaluronic acid preparations, which are extracted from rooster combs, and there are some synthetically grown products for those with avian allergies. They have trade names such as Supartz and Orthovisc.
These injections are also called viscosupplementation as they restore the normal viscoelastic properties to synovial fluid. This can help protect cartilage, lubricate the joint and improve the shock absorbing effect of the knee. It is also suspected that hyaluronic acid injections may protect cartilage cells and actually promote the formation of more cartilage. This is the subject of a lot of speculation and has not been definitively proven.
Numerous clinical studies have been performed regarding the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid formulations. One of the largest studies in the US showed beneficial effects in 80% of patients for over six months. It appears that the combination of joint lubrication along with the anti-inflammatory effects that come from hyaluronic acid, work together to create such effective results.
Knee injections are typically extremely effective. A recent study on our website, shows the injections, which are as painless as a flu shot, when done under fluoroscopic guidance to ensure the hyaluronic acid passes through the synovial membrane, combined with physical therapy focused on painless strengthening of your knee area, and proper bracing to allow the fluid to move freely throughout the joint space, creates the highest level of pain reduction, with over 99% of patients we treat achieving an average pain reduction of 77%. These results are often good enough to delay the need for a knee replacement surgery and avoid it altogether.
If you suffer from pain due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or post traumatic arthritis, Physicians Rehabilitation can help.
239-687-2165 | www.PhysiciansRehabilitation.com
5668 Strand Ct. , Naples, Fl. 34110