Knee Injections in Las Vegas and Henderson NV – Avoid Surgery

Knee injections are used to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Arthritis can affect the cartilage, bone, ligaments, and joint lining. The doctor can inject a corticosteroid or synthetic joint lubricant into the joint space.

Who gets osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis typically affects people ages 40 years and older. While there is no cure for this painful disease, osteoarthritis is controllable. Based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoarthritis affects a third of people 65 years of age and older, which is around 27 million Americans.

What is hyaluronic acid?

The synthetic joint lubricant injected into the knee joint is called hyaluronic acid. Also called viscosupplementation, there are several types of hyaluronic acid. These include:

  • Synvisc – This is the most popular joint lubricate on the market.
  • Hyaluronan – Natural gel-like substance is similar to joint fluid.
  • Orthovisc – High-molecular weight hyaluronan.
  • Hyalgan – Also called sodium hyaluronate.
  • Euflexxa – This is 1% sodium haluronate

What is hyaluronic acid used to treat?

Hyaluronic is useful in the treatment of arthritis. Cartilage is a fibrous substance that lines the bones of the knee joint. This tissues serves as a shock-absorber, and will prevent friction when the knee is bent. With arthritis, cartilage erodes and wears away, becoming thin and frail. In addition, joint fluid (synovial fluid) content is lost. Hyaluronic acid can alleviate the friction and restore fluid content.

What is the mechanism of action for hyaluronic fluid?

Hyaluronic acid (Synvisc) injections will cushion and lubricate the knee joint. Additionally, these injections allow the bones and cartilage to move smoothly against each other, preventing pain and stiffness. Hyaluronic acid is useful to decrease inflammation, which is known to cause further cartilage degeneration.

How does the doctor administer a hyaluronic joint injection?

Hyaluronic acid injections are given in a series of three, spaced 1-2 weeks apart. Synvisc-One is an extended release form that replaces three injections. Most hyaluronic acid injections last for up to six months. Studies show that hyaluronic acid injections have a 75% efficacy rate. The knee is cleansed with an antiseptic solution, and the doctor injects the hyaluronic acid into the joint space.

Does hyaluronic acid have side effects?

Most people do not experience side effects with hyaluronic acid injections. However, there are some to consider. Short-term inflammation of the knee is expected, but this only affects around 2% of those injected. Because hyaluronic acid is derived from processed chicken/rooster combs, those allergic to eggs or poultry should not have this medication. Other side effects include joint swelling, redness at the injection site, and mild pain.

What other medications are used for knee injections?

The doctor may inject the knee joint with a corticosteroid agent. This medication is an anti-inflammatory agent, and it can cause increased joint tenderness. Side effects include increased blood sugary, slight weight gain, fluid retention, and trouble sleeping.

What risks are associated with knee injections?

As with all minimally invasive procedures, there are some complications associated with a knee injection. These include infection, bleeding, skin discoloration, soreness, and joint damage.

Am I a candidate for a knee injection?

The pain management specialist will decide if or not you are a candidate for this procedure. Hyaluronic acid is approved for associated symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. The doctor makes the decision to inject the knee based on your current health condition, previous treatment failure, and existing knee damage.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Osteoarthritis. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm

Miller LE & Block JE (2013). US-approved intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections are safe and effective in patients with knee osteoarthritis: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, saline-controlled trials. Clin Med Insights Arthritis Mus Disorders, 6, 57-63. doi:  10.4137/CMAMD.S12743