Osteoarthritis affects more than 31 million people in the United States, and this number is expected to rise considerably as the population ages. While this form of arthritis can develop in many joints in your body, when it strikes your knees, the results can be especially problematic as pain and inflammation limit your ability to move around.
At NuVation Pain Group, Dr. Phillip Lim and our team have one primary mission: restore pain-free movement for our patients. To do this, we offer a number of interventional treatment protocols that not only tackle pain but also restore movement and range of motion. When it comes to your arthritic knees, we’ve found that viscosupplementation is an effective way to get you up and moving again.
So to answer the question posed in the title of this blog about how effective viscosupplementation is in resolving knee pain, the answer is “highly,” and here’s why.
A pain in the knee
Osteoarthritis is also called wear-and-tear arthritis because it develops over time and repeated use. The articulating (moving) joints in your body are largely made up of several components:
With osteoarthritis, it’s this last component — cartilage — that’s compromised. Cartilage is a slick material that covers the ends of the bones in your joints, allowing them to glide easily against one another. With osteoarthritis, your cartilage breaks down, allowing your bones to rub together directly, which causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joint.
And when it comes to your knees, this type of damage can have a widespread impact on your overall quality of life because of their critical role in the support and mobility of your entire body.
Now that we’ve set the stage for what’s happening inside your knees, let’s take a look at how we address the problem through viscosupplementation. At the heart of this treatment is our use of hyaluronic acid, which provides much-needed lubrication within your joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance in your body that’s largely found in your joints and in your eyes, which means your body readily accepts the treatment.
By introducing this viscous fluid into your joints, our goal is to prevent your bones from rubbing together painfully, which then resolves your swelling, pain, and stiffness.
The viscosupplementation is fairly easy for us to administer. When you come in, we usually apply a local anesthetic to the surface of your skin, and then we inject your knee with the hyaluronic acid. For precision and accuracy, we may use advanced imaging to ensure that we hit our mark, giving you the best possible results.
Once we’re finished, you’re free to return home. You should plan on taking it easy for a day or two to allow the hyaluronic acid to settle in, and then you may ease back into activity.
After a few days, you should notice a marked improvement in your ability to move around, as well as a reduction in swelling and pain. You may need a series of injections, depending upon the extent of your arthritis, and we determine this as we go.
If you’d like to explore further how viscosupplementation can help you get up and go with arthritic knees, please contact us. Call one of our offices in Downtown Los Angeles or Buena Park, California, or use the online booking tool to set up an appointment.