Dr. Jonathan Mulford, Orthopaedic Surgeon, NSW Australia Total Knee Replacement, NSW Australia
Sports Knee Ligament Reconstruction, NSW Australia
Knee Arthroscopy, NSW Australia

Viscosupplementation for Knee Arthritis

Viscosupplementation is an injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial (joint) fluid. It acts as a

  • Lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads

When osteoarthritis occurs there is a lower concentration of hyaluronic acid in the joint.

Effects of Viscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation has been shown to relieve pain in many patients who cannot get relief from other drugs.

Several preparations of hyaluronic acid are available.

Immediate Effects

  • Hyaluronic acid does not have an immediate pain-relieving effect
  • You may notice a local reaction, such as pain, warmth, and slight swelling immediately after the shot. These symptoms generally do not last long. You may want to apply an ice pack to help ease them
  • For the first 48 hours after the shot, you should avoid excessive weightbearing on the leg, such as standing for long periods, jogging or heavy lifting

Longer Term Effects

  • Less pain in your knee
  • The injection may stimulate the body to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid
  • The length of time the injection lasts is variable. Effects can last for several months. It seems that it lasts longer than steroid injections

Treatment

Synvisc One is a new one injection product.

Outcome

  • Viscosupplementation can be helpful for people whose arthritis has not responded to basic treatments
  • It is most effective if the arthritis is in its early stages (mild to moderate)
  • Some patients may feel pain at the injection site, and occasionally the injections result in increased swelling
  • The long-term efficacy of viscosupplementation is not yet known and research continues in this area
  • The injections can be costly. (about $500 - some private heath fund will give part rebate of this cost)

If your arthritis is not responding well or if you are trying to delay surgery, please speak to me about this option.

Knee Replacement Surgery, NSW Australia
Sydney Orthopaedic Surgeon, NSW Australia

I am a orthopaedic surgeon that specialises in all aspects of Hip and Knee surgery...

Meet Dr. Jonathan Mulford
Trauma Surgery, NSW Australia
Dr Mulford was awarded a Diploma in Clinical Trials from the University of London in 2008.
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