Can Viscosupplementation (Gel Injections) Resolve My Knee Pain?

Knee pain relating to osteoarthritis commonly leads to disability for adults across the United States. While we can’t cure your osteoarthritis, there’s a lot you can do to manage your pain and continue living a full life. At Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco, S. Justin Badiyan, MD treats knee pain patients from offices in Frisco and Lewisville, Texas. A board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain management physician, Dr. Badiyan recommends viscosupplementation, or targeted injections of cushioning gel, for many of his osteoarthritis patients.

Dealing with long-term wear-and-tear

As you age, your joints begin to wear down. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in your synovial fluid and is one of the factors that works to cushion your joints during movement. If you have osteoarthritis, your levels of hyaluronic acid drop, leaving your joints, particularly your knees, vulnerable to pain when they move. Without enough hyaluronic acid, bones press painfully against each other as your joints shift. Osteoarthritic can limit your range of motion and damage your quality of life. 

With viscosupplementation, we inject a booster of gel-like hyaluronic acid directly into your painful knee joint. Some patients report lasting relief from pain with the supplementation of their hyaluronic acid levels, although individual results may vary.

A more intensive approach to pain reduction

When you first get your osteoarthritis diagnosis, you might begin by focusing on lifestyle changes, like weight loss or increased exercise, or look into pain relievers or corticosteroid injections to manage your condition. If these types of treatments don’t work to keep your pain down to acceptable levels that don’t impede your life goals, we also have more intensive options.

Less invasive than surgery, viscosupplementation may be right for you if other treatments haven’t sufficiently reduced your knee pain. We most commonly use viscosupplementation for patients with osteoarthritis, but it may also be beneficial for patients with other types of arthritis-related pain, including pain from rheumatoid arthritis.

A gentle gel cushion to pad your knee

Depending on the course of treatment that’s right for your unique health care needs, we deliver from one to five injections of gel-like fluid to your affected knee joint over the course of several weeks. We use a local numbing agent to keep you from experiencing too much discomfort during treatment. You may begin to notice improvement several weeks after treatment, and positive results can last for multiple months. If this treatment works for you, we advise a further course of treatment after about six months to maintain your pain-free joints. This procedure is covered by most major health insurance plans.

You may experience some mild initial side effects after an injection, including pain, elevated temperature, and some slight swelling. You may also see a flare-up of your arthritis symptoms immediately following treatment. For the first 48 hours after treatment, avoid too much weight-bearing stress on the treated knee. Try not to stand for too long, lift anything too heavy, or go jogging for a few days. If you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction or infection, contact our office right away.

To find out if viscosupplementation could be the right treatment to resolve your knee pain, schedule an initial consultation appointment with Dr. Badiyan today. He can advise you on the best intervention for your knee, joint, and arthritis-related pain. Book your appointment over the phone, or by using the online tool.

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