VISCOSUPPLEMENTATION FOR KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS
Dr Low specialises in administering Viscosupplementation (Hyaluronic acid injections) for for the treatment of knee oesteoarthritis.
What is Viscosupplementation
Synovial fluid helps with shock absorption and lubrication in the knee joint. In osteoarthritis there is reduced synovial fluid. This coupled with damaged articular cartilage creates friction in the joint leading to symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness. One component of synovial fluid is hyaluronic acid.
Viscosupplementation is a procedure that involves injecting an artificial gel with similar properties to hyaluronic acid into the knee joint. This helps improve the shock absorption and friction in the knee joint, and reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. Its effects can last up to 6 months and even longer. Patients can have repeat injections at regular intervals.
Unlike PRP injections they do not slow the progression of osteoarthritis. They temporarily help with symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. In the head to head studies with PRP injections, knee osteoarthritis symptoms are controlled for a longer timeframe with PRP injections.
When to use Viscosupplementation
For patients with knee osteoarthritis of any age unless it is severe osteoarthritis. The injection is a single injection performed in the consulting rooms.
When NOT to use Viscosupplementation
allergic reaction to hyaluronan-based products in the past
allergies to birds, feathers or eggs
swollen or infected leg
Before the procedure
Avoid vigorous exercise or physical work that may exacerbate your knee symptoms for 2 days before the procedure. Try and minimise any physical work if you have a physical job.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes. Dr Low will may use local anaesthetic depending on patient requests before injecting the gel-like solution into your painful knee.
After the procedure
The knee can feel a bit “full” after the injection. You can drive home or back to work after the injection, however it is advised to get someone else to drive you home if you have to travel for an hour or more. You should avoid strenuous activity for 2-3 days.
Patients may experience discomfort for approximately 24 hours after the injection. Simple analgesia such as Panadol, Anti-inflammatories and elevating the leg as well as ice can help alleviate these symptoms.
Knee rehabilitation after the Viscosupplementation
To give viscosupplementation the best chance of improving symptoms, beginning or continuing a knee muscle rehabilitation program with a physio, exercise physiologist or an experienced personal trainer is crucial to giving you the best results. Some patients look to the viscosupplementation injections as a quick fix. However to get the best results some rehab work done by the patient also needs to be done. Dr Low can refer you to the appropriate health professional if needed
NO GP REFERRAL REQUIRED.
Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injections in osteoarthritis of the knee: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Laudy ABM, Bakker EWP, Rekers M, et al.
BR J Sports Med 2015;49:657-672.
A randomized clinical trial evaluating plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF-Endoret) versus hyaluronic acid in the short-term treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
Sánchez M, Fiz N, Azofra J, et al.
Platelet-rich plasma intra-articular injection versus hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation as treatments for cartilage pathology: from early degeneration to osteoarthritis.
Kon E, Mandelbaum B, Buda R, et al.