What is Viscosupplementation Used For?
Viscosupplements are among the newest treatment options for those suffering from chronic or severe osteoarthritic knee pain and offers superior knee pain treatments for Chicago residents. Viscosupplementation has been shown to be beneficial in terms of reducing inflammation and pain caused by osteoarthritis. It improves mobility, strengthens the affected joint, and reduces pain while also stimulating the growth of new cells and healthier tissue. These treatments can be injected into one or multiple joints such as both knees at the same time. Osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common type of arthritis pain and the knee is one of the first joints to begin to wear out. The pain and loss of mobility caused by this knee condition is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. It develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time. Surgery can help advanced cases but when the condition has been caught early enough, injections like these can help restore use and reduce pain so the individual can get back to living his or her life.
Your doctor may recommend other steps be taken in addition to getting these injections in order to maximize their effectiveness and to give you the best results possible when it comes to your chosen knee therapy in Chicago and the surrounding areas. These common steps include:
- Changes in activity level- more active to reduce stiffness or less active to avoid further injuries or to increase core body strength
- Weight loss- carrying too much weight puts a lot of stress on the body and losing just 10-20 pounds can be a huge help
- Pain relievers- usually over the counter pain mends and anti-inflammatory meds are tried before high dose prescriptions are tried
- Physical therapy- building strength and mobility can go a long way in reducing pain as will knowing how to move and sit properly
- Corticosteroid injections- these injections are highly targeted and work to relieve pain long enough for other treatments to start working
In this procedure, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee joint. It is naturally produced by the body and is found in the pockets of fluid in the joints that help lubricate and cushion the joints day in and day out. It is part of the reason healthy joints can slide bone over bone without pain or stiffness. People with osteoarthritis have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints. Age, injuries, overuse, and other factors can lead to lower levels of hyaluronic acid from being produced by the body. When the joints are not cushioned enough and there is too little of this important element, it results in the pain, stiffness, immobility, and other symptoms most commonly associated with the condition. It is important to remember that everyone is different, even two people of the same age, from the same line of work, with the same condition can have different symptoms and need different treatments and even see different results from the same treatments. Here at the Pain Relief Institute we will work with you closely during your consultation meetings and preparations to ensure you know what to expect and what our injections can and cannot do for you and your unique case and needs. You can call us today to find out everything you need to know about Viscosupplement injections in the Chicago area.
What Are The 3 Injections Used?
There are three types of injections we use here at the Pain Relief Institute for our knee pain patients and they are:
Hyaluronic acid supplements – Although not technically medications, they are an artificial means of restoring the natural balance of this important acid within the body. The injections are given regularly for a set period of time that will vary depending n the individual case but a common treatment schedule is 1-2 times a week for 4-6 weeks. The procedure is simple and quick and need only localize numbing. A small amount of fluid is removed from the joint to make room for the injection to avoid any unnecessary pressure or pain in the joint. Most of our patients see results within the first 2 injections and progress continues until treatment is completed.
Corticosteroid Injections – In cases of severe pain it is an option to inject corticosteroids directly into the knee joint. This is most commonly done in order to get quick relief of pain and inflammation. Their benefits may last anywhere from a few days to more than six months depending on the injury, the location, how the injections are given, and other factors. While the injections bring targeted relief to the joint and lack many of the side effects of oral corticosteroid medications, they are not without risks. Prolonged use of these steroid injections in the same joint for an extended period of time and lead to cartilage breakdown, system tolerance, and other side effects as well. If you have used these in the past for relief but find they are no longer working, we here at the Pain Relief Institute can help you find other treatment options that can bring you the relief you want and need.
Arthrocentesis – Also known by many as joint fluid aspiration, arthrocentesis is the term used to describe the process of removing joint fluid through a minimally invasive procedure that is basically a reverse injection. A needle is inserted into the joint and the fluid is removed. Although the purpose of removing joint fluid from the knee is often done so it can be tested to determine the bet course of treatment for the condition, it is also helpful for bringing temporary relief to joint pain. Too much fluid can lead to pain and stiffness and when th fluid of the pain is infected it can also lead to pain so removing some of it will reduce the symptoms and bring at least some temporary relief. Once the fluid has been tested the right diagnosis for cause can be given and another form of treatment can then begin some even more pain relief can be achieved on a more long-term basis.
Side Effects – Viscosupplement injections are very safe compared to other medications and surgical treatments commonly used for knee pain in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Most ide effects are very minor and short lives, the most common being some tenderness, bruising, minor swelling, and skin irritation. Most of these are gone within a few hours to a day or two. In rare cases, there may be a case of an allergic reaction where the body rejects the introduced material. Infection and bleeding are also very rare complications of this procedure. Our team here at the Pain Relief Institute will go over all possible risks and concerns with you and ensure you have all your questions answered well before your treatments begin. We will also work with you closely during the treatments and in the days and weeks following to ensure there are no adverse side effects or other concerns that would need to be addressed.
If you would like to learn more about the treatments we offer for knee pain relief or to schedule an appointment with our team here at the Pain Relief Institute, please call us today at: 847-243-6041.