Viscosupplementation is a type of knee joint injection treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. It is also called hyaluronic acid injections. Knee pain is the second most common type of chronic pain in the United States. Fortunately, there are experienced pain specialists who are able to evaluate your circumstances and advise you about the best course of treatment. You can find a pain doctor at a Pain Treatment Clinic in many different locations.
Causes of Osteoarthritis and Knee Pain
- hereditary tendencies
- overuse due to sports or work commitments
Pain Relieving Home Remedies
First, it is advisable to try a range of home remedies before you turn to injections as a treatment option. Some of the most common approaches for reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis is to increase your level of activity, work on weight loss, use over the counter pain medications, topical rubs, hot and cold compresses, a brace and specific exercises suggested by your physical therapist. If your pain does not subside through these methods, it is time to consider viscosupplementation injections.
Viscosupplementation Injections: Why Do We Need Them?
Often with osteoarthritis in the knee joint, there is not only pain but swelling. This is usually caused by overuse of the joint or is due to excessive weight. Osteoarthritis is often called the wear and tear disease. The two leg bones in your knee joint are cushioned by two major components: cartilage and a small amount of viscous fluid.
Cartilage: Each bone end is lined with cartilage that reduces the friction as the two bones slide over each other when they move. The cartilage also cushions each bone, acting as a shock absorber. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage that cushions your knee joint wears down and allows the bones to rub directly against one another. When the bones rub together, it causes inflammation of the joint. Also, the tendons and ligaments may become irritated and inflamed, also causing pain.
Viscous Fluid: The synovial fluid lubricates the joint and helps to absorb shock. In a healthy joint, this fluid is squeezed out of the cartilage to lubricate the surfaces. When the cartilage deteriorates, it does not produce this vital lubrication. The injection of the hyaluronic acid takes the place of the natural bodily fluid in the joint. The viscosupplementation injections can relieve the pain and reduce the swelling in the area.
Viscosupplementation Injections: What is the Procedure?
The well-trained pain doctor in New York or the pain doctor in New Jersey will outline the method for the pain-relieving treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee in detail and answer all of your questions.
- The procedure begins with the cleaning of the area in the vicinity of the injection.
- A local anesthetic ensures that you will not feel any pain or discomfort.
- When the injection is to take place, your expert pain doctor will use an imaging device to make sure that the needle is in the correct position. If you have considerable swelling of the area, the doctor may remove a small amount of this excess fluid. Then a pain doctor in NY or a pain doctor in NJ injects the viscosupplementation into the knee.
- Only a small bandage to cover the area is needed on the site of the injection.
- A series of viscosupplementation injections may occur weekly over 3-5 weeks.
You can return home soon after the treatment. It is advisable to reduce your activity level for 48 hours after the procedure and to rest the knee by avoiding long periods of standing. An ice pack will manage the swelling and any pain in recovering from the process.