Viscosupplementation therapy is an injection therapy that restores the lubrication and cushioning in knee joints. At Apex Pain Specialists, board-certified pain management specialists Naveen Reddy, MD, and Maziar Massrour, MD, offer viscosupplementation therapy to patients struggling with osteoarthritis in the knees, particularly when other treatments aren’t effective anymore. Call the Chandler, Arizona, office or click the online booking link to make your appointment now.
Viscosupplementation therapy is a treatment to relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis. The treatment involves injecting a synthetic duplicate of hyaluronic acid (a thick, naturally occurring fluid) into affected joints.
When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage coating on your bone breaks down, and your body’s hyaluronic acid decreases. This causes your bones to scrape together painfully, leading to stiffness and swelling.
Viscosupplementation replaces your hyaluronic acid, restoring smooth joint movement and relieving your pain.
At this time, viscosupplementation therapy is FDA approved to treat osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis can also affect the hips, shoulders, wrists, spine, ankles, and other joints, so doctors may sometimes use viscosupplementation therapy off-label.
Apex Pain Specialists may recommend viscosupplementation therapy if you have chronic knee pain that doesn’t respond to conservative approaches like physical therapy, weight loss, and activity modification.
In most cases, it’s most successful in treating the symptoms of mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis. Viscosupplementation therapy may also help delay knee replacement surgery.
You’ll receive an injection of a local anesthetic around your knee joint. Many people with arthritis have fluid buildup in their knees, so your physician may drain the fluid before proceeding with your viscosupplementation therapy.
Apex Pain Specialists typically use fluoroscopy (live X-ray) or ultrasound guidance to position your injections using peak accuracy. The process isn’t typically painful.
You can return home after your viscosupplementation therapy. You may need a series of injections spaced over a few weeks to get maximum results.
It may take up to a few weeks to notice the benefits of viscosupplementation therapy, including smoother movement and less pain.
Viscosupplementation therapy takes effect in around a week or two, and the effects can last as long as 6-12 months. If you experience positive benefits from viscosupplementation therapy, you can have repeat treatments as often as every six months to maintain your results.
If stiff and painful knees slow you down every day, viscosupplementation therapy could give you freedom. To learn more, call Apex Pain Specialists or click on the provided online scheduling feature today.