How Effective is Viscosupplementation in Resolving Knee Pain?

When you consider all the bending and straightening your knees go through each day, it’s probably not surprising that knee pain is a common complaint among children and adults. The pain may be related to a sports injury, medical conditions such as arthritis, overuse, obesity, and numerous other factors that can affect the way your knees function.

Designing an effective treatment strategy for relieving knee pain starts with identifying what’s causing the symptoms. Teddrick Dunson, MD, at Thrive Pain Management in Irving, Texas, is a well-respected pain management specialist who is known for his expertise in treating knee pain.

Dr. Dunson is happy to provide information regarding viscosupplementation and its effectiveness in treating certain types of knee pain.

What is viscosupplementation?

Viscosupplementation is a treatment that involves injecting a gel-like fluid (hyaluronic acid) into your knee joint to help decrease pain and swelling. Because your body naturally produces hyaluronic acid to retain water and lubricate tissue, the synthetic form used in viscosupplementation is typically well-tolerated by the affected joint.

Most often used to treat symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, viscosupplementation may also be beneficial in relieving joint pain due to other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It’s not a permanent solution but can relieve joint pain, stiffness, and swelling for several weeks to months.

How does viscosupplementation work?

In a healthy knee, the ends of the bones that form the joint are capped with smooth rubber-like tissue (cartilage) that helps ensure the bones glide smoothly across one another when you bend or straighten your knee. Cartilage is coated with a fluid that contains hyaluronic acid, which works as a lubricant and shock absorber within the joint.

If you have osteoarthritis, often referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, you typically have less hyaluronic acid lubricating the cartilage. This creates friction that disrupts smooth movement within the knee joint and causes the cartilage to break down. The result is pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected knee. Viscosupplementation reduces these symptoms by replenishing hyaluronic acid levels.

What happens during the treatment?

Viscosupplementation is a quick procedure that we perform here at our Thrive Pain Management office. You can expect a detailed discussion regarding the injection, follow up care, and other considerations before we schedule your procedure.

Generally, Dr. Dunson numbs the site with a local anesthetic so that you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the treatment. A small bandage is placed over the injection site and you’re free to go home shortly after the procedure. Each case is different, but we typically ask you to avoid jogging, standing for long periods and excessive walking for about 48 hours.

For comprehensive, personalized treatment that relieves your pain and addresses the underlying issue causing your discomfort, call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dunson.

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