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Essence Health Group

Viscosupplementation for Arthritis of the Knee

You have options other than undergoing invasive surgery or potential health risks associated with ongoing use of medication to manage your pain. Clinically proven to offer joint lubrication and relief from osteoarthritis symptoms of the knee and shoulder. Benefits of injections include: reduced inflammation, enhanced mobility, and restoration of comfort back to your normal activity levels. 

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What is Visco-supplementation

Viscosupplementation is a non-surgical method for treating joints that have developed osteoarthritis symptoms. The procedure involves injecting a gel-like substance called hyaluronic acid directly into the space between the affected joint. Viscosupplementation is most commonly used for knees, but there are cases where it can be used for other joints such as the shoulder. It is a series of injections that consists of a natural material that can be traced to your own joint cartilage and synovial fluid. For over 20 years it has been use around the world as a series of injections without the negative side effects of using corticosteroids.

Our joint health clinic utilizes fluoroscopy to ensure the most accurate injection placement. Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures–similar to an X-ray, but with real-time movement. A continuous X-ray beam is passed through the treatment area while our medical team administers the medicine into the affected joint. The beam is transmitted to a monitor so all motion can be seen in detail by our trained team of professionals.

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What is the treatment?

The idea for the treatment is to increase the concentration of hyaluronic acid around the joints. Hyaluronic acid is a key part of synovial fluid, which is responsible for lubricating your joints. The injections are usually administered in a weekly series of 3-5 injections, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. The injected gel will remain in the joint space for 2-3 days after the procedure, which means many patients do experience some temporary relief from joint pain after the first injection, with most feeling longer lasting results after their third.

Who should consider viscosupplementation knee therapy?

If any of the following apply to you, viscosupplementation could be worth considering:

  • Pain is reducing your quality of life and affecting basic activities, like climbing stairs or walking or standing for long periods.
  • Other treatments or medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and steroid injections, have not resulted in proper pain relief, or caused unwanted side effects.
  • You do not want to undergo surgery or want to postpone it until absolutely necessary.

Osteoarthritis Options

Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a condition caused by joint inflammation. There is no single known cause, but it can often become more severe or aggravated due to genetic history, obesity, injury, repetitive action or overuse from sports, work, or aging. Patients with OA are usually good candidates for gel knee injections as an alternative to avoiding knee surgery if they are experiencing moderate to severe pain and don’t have any significant mechanical or alignment issues in the knee. You may find yourself back to your regular routine without the pain of osteoarthritis in a short amount of time and never have to face more painful or invasive procedures to maintain your lifestyle.

Essence Med Council Bluffs IA