Zilretta and Osteoarthritis

What is Zilretta?

Zilretta is an innovative new treatment specifically for osteoarthritis knee pain. To understand exactly what Zilretta is, how it works, and whether it’s right for you, let’s start by reviewing exactly what osteoarthritis is.

What is Osteoarthritis?

In a nutshell, osteoarthritis is deterioration of the cartilage in your joints. When you’re young, this firm, slippery substance permits joints to move without friction and thus without pain.

But when the cartilage deteriorates, as it is apt to do as the years pass, the cartilage roughens and eventually wears away completely. As a result, the ends of your bones rub together and produce arthritis pain. Other arthritis symptoms may include tenderness in response to even light pressure, stiff joints, loss of flexibility, bone spurs, and a grating sensation. You may even hear a grating sound when the joint bends.

Osteoarthritis symptoms develop slowly and worsen over time. Though they can affect any joint, they are most commonly experienced in the knees, hands, hips, and spine. They can progress to the point where certain ordinary life tasks become difficult if not possible, and doctors may recommend joint replacement surgery.

What are the Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis?

Older people are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, and so are women. Jobs that cause repetitive stress on joints can lead to arthritis symptoms, as can obesity, which also puts extra strain on joints. Genetic predisposition plays a part, and so do bone deformities, defective cartilage, and joint injuries such as many sports injuries. Even if the injury seemed to have healed completely years before, it can still increase the risk of eventual osteoarthritis.

Prognosis, Management, and Treatment of Osteoarthritis

At this time, there’s no cure for osteoarthritis. But there is much that can be done to slow the progression of this degenerative condition, manage arthritis pain, and promote joint function.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, staying active is important to minimize arthritis symptoms. If an individual is overweight, dropping those pounds and maintaining a healthy weight thereafter reduces stress on the joints. Once again, the result is to minimize arthritis pain.

But for many people, simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t sufficient to fully control arthritis symptoms. They need an osteoarthritis treatment from a doctor, and for knee pain, Zilretta may well prove to be the treatment of choice.


Zilretta is an extended-release corticosteroid for relieving osteoarthritis knee pain. It’s administered via injection and is not intended for repeat use, but that one injection can often produce months of freedom from arthritis symptoms.

It accomplishes this because it’s made up of extended-release microspheres. These tiny orbs remain in the knee for approximately three months releasing medicine to fight arthritis pain and inflammation.

Zilretta for Osteoarthritis: What to Tell the Doctor before Receiving an Injection

Before receiving Zilretta for your arthritis pain, be sure to let your physician know about any medical conditions, especially (but not limited to) glaucoma, diverticulitis or any other gastrointestinal disorders, kidney problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, infections, and mood or behavior disorders, or infections. Similarly, be sure to tell the doctor about any medications you’re taking.

Zilretta for Osteoarthritis: Contraindications

Patients should not receive Zilretta injections for their arthritis symptoms if they’re allergic to corticosteroids, triamcinolone acetonide, or anything else that makes up the product.

Zilretta for Osteoarthritis: Are There Side Effects?

Zilretta can occasionally produce side effects. The most common ones are joint pain, joint swelling, headache, back pain, bruising, sore throat and runny nose, and upper respiratory tract infection.

Zilretta for Osteoarthritis: What to Tell the Doctor After You Receive an Injection

After receiving Zilretta for your osteoarthritis knee pain, be sure to let the doctor know if you develop fever or signs of an infection, have heightened pain or swelling in the knee that received the injection, a restriction of joint movement, or general discomfort. Also, alert your physician immediately if you’re exposed to measles or chicken pox of experience new or worsening problems with your behavior or mood.

To explore whether Zilretta is the right arthritis treatment for you, contract the Pain Relief Institute today.