Osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain can be frustrating and painful, but ignoring it will not make it go away. Talking to your doctor is the best way to start exploring your options. When you do, keep the following in mind.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the joints. There are many types of arthritis, but OA is the most common. It often comes with age, when the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones gradually deteriorates. Those bones begin to rub against each other, causing the pain, stiffness and swelling you may be noticing in your joints. In its early stages, arthritis is treated with less invasive and non-surgical methods.
What might your doctor recommend?
A range of treatment options exist including:
- Activity and physical therapy to strength muscles and reduce pressure on your joints
- Loss weight (if you are overweight) since that can put extra strain on your joints
- Manage pain with:
- Hot or cold packs
- Oral medication such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- Injections such as corticosteroids
- Injection such as Hyaluronic acid / Viscosupplementation
- Use supports such as shoe inserts, splints or other devices that may help you
We recognize OA can be overwhelming and want to help you find the approach that works best for you. To discuss further, please contact our office at (336) 627-4896.
KNEE THERAPY WITH GEL INJECTION (VISCOSUPPLEMENTATION)
Most Frequently asked questions:
What is Knee therapy with gel injection (Viscosupplementation)?
During Knee therapy with gel injection treatment for arthritis, your healthcare provider injects hyaluronic acid into your joint. This thick fluid may help reduce pain and swelling in your arthritic joint (most commonly, your knee). The bones that make up your joints usually have a cap of cartilage on their ends.
How long do gel shots last in the knee?
Compared to other injections, gel knee injections can take up to five weeks for patients to experience full relief but last much longer — around six months or more.
How long does it take for hyaluronic acid injections to work?
Pain relief is not immediate, and usually begins around the fourth week after the initial injection. Duration of relief periods may vary from 2 months up to 6 months. The most effective period is usually between weeks 5 and 13. Multiple injections regimes may be more effective than a single injection in some people.
How many times can you get hyaluronic acid injections?
It is quite variable but many patients report six to twelve months of relief, and the injections may be repeated every six months or based on physician judgement.
What to do after Knee therapy with gel injection.
- You should be able to resume your normal day-to-day activities.
- You should avoid activities that put excessive strain on your knee such as jogging, lifting or prolonged standing.
- If you have any mild pain or swelling at the injection site, place an ice pack on your knee for 10 minutes or as recommended by your doctor.
Can you drive after knee gel injections?
With the same needle still in place, the doctor can usually inject the hyaluronic acid into the knee joint. After an injection, you should not do hard weight-bearing activity for one or two days. Otherwise, you should be able to resume normal activities.
Does Medicare pay for knee gel injections?
Currently, Medicare will cover hyaluronan injections for the knee only. Medicare also requires X-ray evidence of the knee osteoarthritis. 13 Medicare will only cover hyaluronan injections if given no more frequently than every six months
How effective is Knee gel injection treatment?
Although some patients report pain relief with the procedure and gel to be effective at significantly reducing pain or improving function, some people are not helped much by the injections if they have extremely advanced osteoarthritis.
What is the best exercise for bad knees?
- Straight Leg Raises. If your knee's not at its best, start with a simple strengthening exercise for your quadriceps, the muscles in the front of the thigh
- Hamstring Curls. These are the muscles along the back of your thigh
- Prone Straight Leg Raises
- Wall Squats
- Calf Raises
- Side Leg Raises
- Leg Presses
Is walking good for knee pain?
- Walking helps ease knee pain and disability from osteoarthritis (OA). You may worry that a walk will put extra pressure on your joints and make the pain worse. But it has the opposite effect. Walking sends more blood and nutrients to your knee joints.