At Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Scottsdale, AZ, Dr. Mattalino understands how negatively pain and stiffness can affect your quality of life. Unfortunately, these symptoms, and many more, seem to be an inevitable part of the aging process. Fortunately, with viscosupplementation injections, they can be reversed for a lot longer than OTC or prescription pain medication. Today, we’re taking a closer look at this treatment to help you determine if it’s right for you.
Viscosupplementation Injections: How Long Do Results Last?
The results of viscosupplementation injections usually last for two to three months. In some cases, the relief can last for six to 12 months. The results of this treatment may seem similar to the results of a cortisone shot. One of the primary differences is that you can expect the results of a cortisone shot to last for a few weeks to a few months. You should not expect the results of a cortisone shot to last for up to a dozen months.
Other Frequently Asked Questions Answered
How Should I Prepare for My Treatment Session?
During your initial consultation, you will need to advise us on all of the pharmaceuticals you currently take. You may be able to maintain your daily supplement routine safely. However, depending on what you take, you may need to alter your routine a bit. For instance, you may want to stop taking aspirin or take a smaller daily dose prior to your injection session. Moreover, you should not consume alcohol or tobacco prior to treatment.
You won’t need to change your diet prior to treatment, and you will be able to drink hydrating fluids normally. However, it is a good idea to wear shorts that stop above the knee or loose pants that can easily be pulled up over the knee.
What Should I Expect During My Treatment Session?
Before your viscosupplementation injections are administered, the injection area will be cleaned. Then, a local anesthetic is injected to numb the area around the joint. Depending on your unique case, imaging technology may be used to help Dr. Mattalino administer the viscosupplementation injection in the ideal spot.
Note that a bit of fluid may need to be removed before the hyaluronic acid is injected. It isn’t rare for people to have excess fluid in their joints. When there is no excess fluid in your joint, a needle attached to a syringe will be used to inject the hyaluronic acid into the knee joint. Then, the injection site will be bandaged.
What Is the Recovery Process Like?
Due to the non-invasive nature of this treatment, you should expect the recovery process to be quick and straightforward. During the first 24 hours post-injection, you should rest as much as possible. Excessive knee movement can cause the injected hyaluronic acid-based gel to slosh around, escaping the treatment area.
It is highly advisable that you have someone drive you to and from your appointment. While local anesthesia may not make you feel sedated, it is possible that it can slow your reaction time, making driving unsafe. During the first 48 hours post-injection, you should minimize weight-bearing activities as much as possible. For instance, you should not stand for more than an hour at a time, you shouldn’t jog or walk for long periods, and you should not lift heavy weights.
How Many Treatments Will I Need To Achieve Optimal Results?
Viscosupplementation injections are usually reserved for individuals who have tried other methods of relief without avail. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to achieve optimal results after just one injection session. Typically, between two and five sessions spread out over the course of several weeks are necessary for total symptom relief.
What Causes Osteoarthritis of the Knee?
Osteoarthritis is often called the “wear and tear disease” because it is caused by wear and tear. Much like it is inevitable for your car’s shock absorber to wear out regardless of how smooth the roads you travel down are, osteoarthritis is to be expected in older people due to decades of walking grinding down the cartilage.
This disease is also common in younger people with a BMI of 30 or more. Such individuals are seven times more likely to develop this disease. Walking exerts a force of two to three times your body weight on your knee, so a 250-pound person subjects their knees to 500 to 750 pounds of force just by walking. Running exerts an even greater force on the knee. This disease can also be caused by:
- Crooked bones
- Crooked joints
- A knee injury
- A highly physical job
- High-impact sports
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Knee Osteoarthritis?
While knee osteoarthritis is extremely common, not everybody develops it. In fact, only around 46% of the population will develop this condition. A disproportionate percentage of this percentage is women. Age is one of the most significant risk factors for the development of this condition. If you are over the age of 40 and experiencing knee pain, swelling, or stiffness, you may want to take a look at your lifestyle and consider making changes.
Being overweight is one of the most significant risk factors that you can change. If you are obese or overweight, talk to your doctor about things you can do to lose weight safely. Depending on your weight, your doctor may advise you that it is safe for you to lose a pound or two per week. It is likely that a majority of your daily caloric deficit will come from cutting calories rather than exercising.
What Are the Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis?
The most common knee osteoarthritis symptom is pain. Usually, this pain is most prominent during weight-bearing activities, like walking or lifting heavy weights while standing. However, pain can present even while you are resting. Another sign that your meniscal cartilage has worn down too much is a knee that feels puffy or looks swollen.
Knee stiffness is another very common sign of osteoarthritis. Usually, the stiffness is the worst when you first rise in the morning or after sitting for several hours in a row. This stiffness may work itself out if you walk around, but many people with this condition find walking painful. Moreover, if you have knee OA, your knee may feel like it is stuck or locked up. It also may feel wobbly, and you may hear a grinding or cracking sound when you move it.
How Is This Condition Diagnosed?
To have knee osteoarthritis diagnosed, you need to undergo a physical examination and discuss your medical history. During the physical exam, the skin around your knee joint will be observed to see if it is red, and Dr. Mattalino will ask you if it is sore. He will also look for signs that a knee injury occurred and ask you about your range of motion. Your range of motion may be tested. Moreover, your gait will be observed, and you’ll be asked about feelings of looseness.
Will I Need To Undergo Any Further Testing?
Yes, it is possible that you will need to undergo further diagnostic testing. MRIs and X-rays are the most commonly used diagnostic tests. However, you may also need to have your blood tested or undergo arthrocentesis. This simple test, sometimes called joint aspiration, entails collecting synovial fluid with a syringe.
What Other Treatment Methods May Be Right for Me?
To reiterate, viscosupplementation injections are usually administered after more conservative treatments have been tried. Some common treatments recommended for knee osteoarthritis include wearing a knee brace, attending regular physical therapy sessions, and taking over-the-counter analgesics. Moreover, people with this condition often benefit, at least in the early stages of the disease, from:
- Getting cortisone injections
- Wearing insoles or other orthotics
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Stretching is another effective way you can alleviate some of your symptoms. If you are having problems with the range of motion in your knee, you may benefit significantly from hamstring stretches and calf stretches.
Kick Knee Pain to the Curb Today
You can generally expect your viscosupplementation injection results to last for two to three months. This is similar to the longevity of cortisone injection results. However, viscosupplementation injections can provide relief for six to 12 months in some cases. If you are suffering from knee osteoarthritis and ready to improve your quality of life, contact us now at Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Scottsdale, AZ, to schedule an initial evaluation with Dr. Mattalino.