If your knees ache, you’re not alone. Over 50 million Americans have arthritis, and the knees are commonly affected joints. As the disease progresses, you may face the possibility of knee replacement surgery. Fortunately, there’s another step you can take first. Minimally invasive gel knee injections may delay or eliminate the need for surgery.
What are Gel Knee Injections?
Most doctors recommend knee injections before they suggest surgery. There are a few different injection fluids available that help to alleviate knee pain and inflammation, but based on our medical training and experience, we believe gel knee injections are the most effective option.
Gel knee injections, also known as viscosupplementation, contain a substance called hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in the synovial fluid surrounding your joints. Gel knee therapy has been in use for over 20 years with a high success rate and low chance of side effects. Some other common brand names for gel injections are:
- Healon GV
- GenVisc 850
Injecting gel into your knees restores proper lubrication and cushioning to your joints, which have slowly degenerated since you developed arthritis. The treatment may also reduce inflammation and protect joint cartilage from further wear and tear.
To maintain the positive effects of knee therapy, you may require a series of gel injections administered about once a week. The process is quick, with minimal discomfort.
Who is a Good Candidate for Knee Therapy?
If you’re tired of taking prescription medication or over-the-counter painkillers to treat your knee arthritis with limited effectiveness, gel injections could be right for you. Good candidates for knee therapy experience moderate to severe knee pain when walking, climbing flights of stairs, or playing sports. To be eligible, you should have no significant mechanical or alignment issues with your knees, which can only be corrected with surgery.
What are the Benefits of Gel Knee Injections?
Here’s what you can expect from gel knee therapy at Effective Integrative Healthcare:
- Relieve your pain
- Improve your mobility
- Restore your usual physical activity level
- Enjoy playing with your kids or grandkids
- Slow the progression of your arthritis
- Possibly avoid the need for invasive knee surgery
What are the Possible Side Effects of Knee Therapy?
While the benefits can be significant, it’s important to understand the risks of any treatment you pursue. Gel knee injections may cause a few possible side effects, but they are quite minor compared to ongoing prescription drug use or corticosteroid injections. These include:
- Knee pain
- Bruising and swelling at the injection site
- Skin irritation, rash, or itching around the knee
- Muscle pain
In most instances, the side effects of gel knee injections resolve within a few days. If you experience any serious problems, let your doctor know immediately so you can pursue a different knee arthritis treatment.
Knee replacement surgery is a last resort for arthritis patients. Seek pain relief from gel knee injections before you agree to go under the knife! To learn more, please schedule a free consultation at Effective Integrative Healthcare today.