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Old 09-30-2011, 12:01 PM
Location: Coastal Georgia
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I have developed bad knees in the past few months due to arthritis. One possible treatment is called viscosupplimentation, in which some type of fluid is placed in the knee which acts as more cushioning. It sounds as if it makes sense, so I wonder if anyone has had this treatment?
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:03 PM
Location: In a house
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From what I've read about it, it involves injecting hyaluronic acid into the knee as a supplement to synovial fluid produced naturally. It's used when all else fails, prior to resorting to surgery. You have to get a shot every week for a few weeks, and you can't get it at all if you have an allergy to "avian protein" which I assume means eggs.

It's marketed with a few different names. There are rare, somewhat serious side effects (one case in particular involved an overweight 78-year-old woman who ended up in the hospital for a few days on anti-biotics but it turned out there was no infection, and the swelling, fever, and pain eventually subsided - which indicates that the injections -did- work, ultimately), but it sounds like it can be effective. I had trouble muddling through the medical and chemical jargon so I can't tell if it is only done once (for the series of three) or if it has to be done every year, or every 10 years, or what have you.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:18 PM
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Viscosupplementation is a great procedure for knee osteoarthritis. It's been around for quite awhile at this point, more than 10 years.

It's typically done one of two ways: 3 injections done once weekly or a one time injection (with a higher dose).

Side effects are rare and are typically more related to injecting into the soft tissues rather than the joint (on a very obese person it can be a technically difficult procedure)

Usually one would exhaust other treatment options such as NSAID's, exercise, weight loss, corticosteroid injections. Some insurers require that you have had at least one corticosteroid injection prior to having hyaluronic injection.

Relief can be quite long lasting, up to a year for some patients. If it works well it can be repeated although there is conflicting data as to the effectiveness of repeat treatments.

I have been giving these injections for over 10 years.
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