Can Viscosupplementation Help with My Arthritis?
Arthritis can be a debilitating and painful disease that prevents you from enjoying your life. If you have tried other treatment options and still continue to suffer, viscosupplementation may help with your arthritis.
What Is Viscosupplementation?
Viscosupplementation is a procedure typically used to treat osteoarthritis, but many patients with rheumatoid arthritis have benefited from the treatment. During viscosupplementation, your medical care provider injects a thick lubricant into your joint called hyaluronic acid. This fluid cushions your joint and can alleviate some of the pain associated with arthritis.
Is Viscosupplementation Safe?
Viscosupplementation is a relatively safe, minimally invasive treatment that can reduce the pain from arthritis. It is most effective in osteoarthritis, where “wear and tear” has reduced the amount of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, but many patients who have exhausted other treatments like corticosteroid shots and NSAIDs have found relief for other forms of arthritis. A small number of people may experience an allergic reaction or have a flare up of arthritis in the short term that causes the pain to worsen.
How Is a Viscosupplementation Performed?
When you see your doctor to have your viscosupplementation procedure, they will numb the area first, then inject a local anesthetic into your joint to numb it. If you are experiencing a lot of swelling in your joints from excess fluid, your doctor may opt to remove some of that fluid before injecting the hyaluronic acid. Once the procedure is complete, you’ll be bandaged and be able to return home.
How Soon Will I Feel Results?
It may take a week to several weeks before you experience any pain relief from the procedure, but it is successful in alleviating your arthritis pain, it is a treatment that can be repeated every 6-8 months. It does not work for everyone, but for many people suffering from arthritis even a small amount of relief from joint pain is welcome.
How Do I Know if Viscosupplementation Is Right for Me?
If you are suffering with osteoarthritis and trying to prolong having surgery for a knee or hip replacement, viscosupplementation can help you delay the surgery while minimizing your discomfort. If you have rheumatoid arthritis and other treatment options are no longer working, viscosupplementation may work to help you improve your quality of life, your mobility, and your range of motion.