If you are one of the 27 million Americans currently suffering from osteoarthritis you know how debilitating and life changing this disease can be. Arthritis of the knee, or osteoarthritis, is present in some form in most people over age 60 but even people in their 20s and 30s can get it. Regardless of your age, if you aren’t finding relief from your osteoarthritis symptoms viscosupplements may be for you. Understanding what viscosupplements are, what they do, how they differ from other knee injections, how they can benefit you, and ultimately, if you are a candidate for them is an important, proactive step in your personal treatment of this widespread disease.
What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
WebMd defines osteoarthritis as a condition where knee cartilage–the relied on cushioning between your joints–deteriorates forcing the bones of the joints to rub more closely against one another without the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. This friction between your joints causes pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased mobility and, sometimes, bone spurs. The Centers for Disease Control report that about one in two people will develop age-related arthritis in one or both knees by their 85th birthday.
What is a Viscosupplement?
Cases of knee osteoarthritis vary from mild, moderate to severe but they all interrupt the quality of life of the sufferer. A recent development in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis provides a less-invasive treatment option that is out-performing the methods of the past. This treatment method for mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis is lubrication injections, or viscosupplementation. Viscosupplements are doses of hyaluronic acid that are injected into the knee and into the synovial fluid. The viscosupplement targets the osteoarthritis pain in your knee by temporarily replacing the diseased synovial fluid that is present. The Hyaluronate in the injections closely resembles the substance that occurs naturally in your joints. When administered, this lubricant and shock-absorber allows the knee to resume its normal, smooth motion decreasing the previous pain. Viscosupplementation is generally used in patients who do not respond to exercise, physical therapy or anti-inflammatory pain medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Are All Knee Injections the Same?
It is important to note that viscosupplements are used as one type of injectable therapy for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Understanding the differences is necessary when choosing your treatment method. Steroids (such as cortisone) act as temporary pain and swelling relievers. Opioids (such as morphine) have a strong pain-killing effect but carry some powerful side effects. Both of these knee injections target the symptoms of your knee osteoarthritis but not the actual cause. Viscosupplements go after the cause of the pain by replacing the diseased synovial fluid in your knee joint.
Are all Viscosupplements the Same?
Not all viscosupplements are the same. The doctors at Freedom Health Centers in Mckinney use a viscosupplement called SUPARTZ which is the number one viscosupplement worldwide. It offers a non-surgical, non-pharmacologic treatment option for knee osteoarthritis. Since its inception in 1987, more than 280 million injections of SUPARTZ have been prescribed globally compared to the 64 million injections of competitors’ products. SUPARTZ has risen above its competitors by its proven results, offering pain relief for up to 6 months. SUPARTZ also offers flexible dosing options. In conjunction with your doctor you can choose between a 3 or 5 injection treatment course.
What are the Benefits of Viscosupplements?
Viscosupplements offer many benefits over standard treatments of knee osteoarthritis. Here are just a few things viscosupplements do:
- Target the osteoarthritis pain in your knee unlike oral pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs that affect the whole body
- Offer a non-surgical treatment option
- Provide a fast procedure with proven results. (The whole procedure takes only a few minutes.)
- Allow for very little discomfort during the injection treatment
- Require a few days of non-strenuous activities post-procedure allowing you a quick return to normal activities
Am I a Candidate for Viscosupplementation?
Viscosupplementation may be the right treatment for you if you are experiencing knee pain caused by osteoarthritis and that pain is not alleviated by exercise, physical therapy or pain medications. Freedom Health Centers of McKinney can provide you the relief you need to stop suffering and start living again!
Schedule your viscosupplementation now by calling us at: (972) 542-3300.