Non-Operative Treatment for Knee Arthritis
Viscosupplementation for knee osteoarthritis
Have you ever tried medications, physical therapy, injections, and seemingly anything you could possibly do to relieve your knee arthritis pain? If these options have failed to help, then PRP Therapy (Platelet-Rich Plasma) may be the right treatment for you. PRP therapy utilizes your own blood cells concentrated into a higher concentration of platelets that can be delivered specifically to the source of pain in your knee. PRP has been shown to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect which in turn reduces pain. Studies have shown that PRP provides a better outcome at one year versus viscosupplementation (“gel shots.”).
If you have osteoarthritis, the joint has lost its natural cushioning fluid. The grinding action of bone and cartilage that is caused by this loss of fluid may be why you have pain. Hyaluronic acid is a key component of the joint fluid in healthy joints, but is found in lower concentrations in osteoarthritic joints. It is a gel like substance that acts as a kind of shock absorber to cushion your joint and reduce pain. We can inject hyaluronic acid into your knee to improve the cushioning of your joint. This injection process is called viscosupplementation (also called hyaluronic acid injections or hyaluronan injections) and is most commonly used for knee osteoarthritis.
Viscosupplementation is given usually as three injections, one week apart, over a 15-day period. Pain relief can begin in a month or two and last for many months after that.