Monday, July 1, 2013 at 12:17PM
Our procedural medicine practice strives to provide patients with the best, up-to-date and comprehensive health care for a variety of illnesses; including alternative options and continued follow up. On our first blog, we discuss viscosupplementation to treat osteoarthritis of the knees.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis as it is also called, is the most common form of arthritis that affects about 27 million Americans. The symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of mobility. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body but is most debilitating in the knees, shoulders and hips.
The normal joint fluid contains a substance called hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid which is designed to work as form of “shock absorber” and lubricant for the joint to ensure that it works properly. People who suffer from osteoarthritis have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronan in their joint fluid from inflamed cells that produce a high volume of inferior joint fluid. Because of this, the knee, when injured heals poorly and there is a resultant fluid build-up in the knee… “Water on the knee”.
Treatment For Osteoarthritis with Viscosupplementation
While there is no cure for this illness, it is best treated in its early stages using a variety of non-surgical methods one of which includes viscosupplementation or joint fluid therapy – Viscosupplementation was first used in Asia and Europe and was approved by the FDA in the United States in 1997. Viscosupplementation has been shown to relieve pain in many patients who’ve not previously responded to other non-surgical methods.
With viscosupplementation, hyaluronic acid is injected into the affected joint to help reduce pain and increase mobility, so the patient can enjoy more activity with less pain.
Dr. Chavez has been treating patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and shoulder with viscosupplementation for over 10 years. While there are many practitioners treating patients with viscosupplementation, It is important to make sure they follow the keys to maximal improvement
1) Imaged guided injections by an experienced clinician
2) Physical Therapy by knowledgeable and trained staff
3) Management of contributing factors to persistent knee pain.
Who is a Candidate for Viscosupplementation?
Virtually any patient with Osteoarthiritis can be a candidate for this treatment and most patients will benefit and respond to this form a therapy including patients who have not found relief of their symptoms with pain killers, steroid injections or physical therapy.
Call Us Today For Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
If your osteoarthritis or knee pain is not responding well to non-surgical treatments or if you’ve had this treatment in the past with little to no success or even if you wish to put off having surgery, schedule an appointment for a free consultation at our Wicker Park or Lincoln Park office to find out if viscosupplementation is right for you.
M. Chavez, MD, SC