Viscosupplementation

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is visco-supplementation?
Visco-supplementation or hyaulronate is a naturally occurring protein. It is found in your joints normally. It is viscous and elastic which helps it cushion and lubricate your joints. When you joint wears and degenerates its surfaces become rougher, the fluid in it becomes thinner, and the space between the bones becomes smaller. Hyaluroante is FDA Approved for Osteoarthritis of the knee since 1997. Injections help supplement your joint with this protein to lubricate and cushion your joint to help reduce or eliminate pain and stiffness.
2. What else is called visco-supplementation?
There are 5 types on the market in the United States. They are called Synvisc (3), Hyalgan (3 -4), Supartz (5), Orthovisc (3), and Eufflexa(3). They are all 5 brand names of the same protein hyaluronate. There are differences in how they are made, purified, produced, number of injections and molecular differences. Your physician and you will decide which one is best for you.
3. How does it help my arthritis ? How does it help?
Hyaluronate works in several different ways. Since it is a thick, viscous jelly like substance, it helps to cushion and lubricate your joint. In an arthritic knee, the joint fluid becomes very thin and watery. Water is not a good lubricant and is not a good cushion. It also helps to stimulate your joint to make more of its own hyaluronate. It also discourages inflammation from forming. These injections are treating the problem and just treating the symptom of the problem.
4. Is it safe?
Yes. It is safe and well tested. Millions have been given around the world for more than 10 years.
5. Are there side effects?
In about 3 to 5 % of injections may experience pain, stiffness and swelling. This side effect is self limited and usually last for a few days. Bruising can occur around the injection site. Joint infections occur in 1 in 10,000.
6. How is it done ? Does it hurt?
It is given by injection in the office. It takes only a few minutes. It is done once a week for up to 3 to 5 injections depending on which product is being used.
7. Any limitations after the injection?
For the 48 hours after the injection it is recommended not to do any strenuous activities. You can go back to work, and do normal daily activities. No running, impact activities and extended walks. Use ice for 10 to 15 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours.
8. How quickly will I see results?
You can start feeling results with in a day. Typically improvement is gradual. The peak or maximum benefit is 4 to 6 weeks after the last injection.
9. How long will it last?
Treatments may last 6 months up to 3 years. After 6 months from the last injection, the whole series can be repeated again as needed. The series can be repeated every 6 months or longer as needed., as many times as needed.
10. How can I get the maximum benefit possible?
Several ways of seeing the most improvement possible. The earlier in the arthritic process you get the injections, the better the response rate. Iit also has a protective benefit. It has been proven clinically, that hyaluronate has a protective benefit to the joint and slows down the arthritic process. Get treatment early in the process. If you are overweight, lose some weight to get closer to your personal ideal body weight. Each pound of body weight is about 3x weight per step per knee. Lose 10 pounds, and you take 30 pounds of pressure off each knee with each step. Improve strength of your legs after injections completed. Studies show that people who increase their quadriceps or thigh muscle strength had more improvement after injections and the benefits lasted longer than patients who just had injections. Do the home exercises at least 2 to 4 times a week or complete the physical therapy program.
11. 11. Anything I need to do before the injections?
Do not take any aspirin, non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, St John’s wart, Omega 3 fatty acids(fish oils), and vitamin E for 5 days prior to injection unless prescribed by a doctor. If you are taking any of the above prescribed by a physician, please let the treating physician know. You can still have injections. There is a small increased risk of bruising. No alcohol for 24 hours prior to injection as it may also increase risk of bruising.