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 along with physical therapy, intra-articular injections can be a great option.
There is a substance known as hyaluronic and 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 all extracted from rooster combs. They have trade names such as Hyalgan, Synvisc and Orthovisc. While each company counts the benefits of their individual product, research studies have shown that all of them work consistently well while no one particular brand has shown superiority.
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 both come from hyaluronic acid work together to create such effective results.
Knee injections are typically extremely effective. Specifically, hyaluronic acid injections have shown over 80% satisfactory results as well which was maintained for over a six-month time period. These results are often good enough to delay the need for a knee replacement surgery or avoid it altogether.
If you suffer from the pain due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or post traumatic arthritis, Physicians Rehabilitation can help.
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