If you have osteoarthritis of the knees, you already know how painful the condition can be, will Synvisc Injections for Knees Help? The swelling and pain can make it difficult to do things that you enjoy, keep up with household maintenance and even sit at a desk at work. When stiffness is factored in, the impact on mobility caused by osteoarthritis of the knees can greatly lower your quality of life. More than 4.3 million adults have osteoarthritis of the knees just like you, and if you’re like many of them, you may find it difficult to get relief with oral drugs alone.
As osteoarthritis worsens, higher and higher dosages of oral medications are often required, and eventually, pain may persist even with the highest safe doses of medicines. Fortunately, there are other ways of handling the pain of arthritis in the knees. Synvisc injections are helping more and more regain their quality of life and move more easily with less discomfort, despite osteoarthritis.
What Is Synvisc and How Does It Work?
Synvisc is an injection of hyaluronic acid that is derived from the combs of chickens. This material is found naturally in the human body and used for many purposes. One of its main purposes is keeping all of the joints in the body cushioned. The cushioning provided by hyaluronic acid helps to cut down on friction when you bend your joints, so that movement can occur frequently. Natural hyaluronic acid in the body works with the cartilage or padding between your joints to serve as natural protection for the places where your bones meet.
If you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage in your joints is breaking down. This means that there is more friction occurring when you move your joints, which is why you develop stiffness and pain in the area. Synvisc injections add extra healthy hyaluronic acid to the affected joints, providing more lubrication. This in turn reduces the friction when you work your joints and cut down on pain.
What Is Synvisc Injections for Knees?
Synvisc injections for the knees are hyaluronic acid shots that are injected directly into the knee for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The administration of a Synvisc injection is done by a doctor in a physician’s office, clinic or hospital. It is an outpatient procedure that takes just minutes.
First, the doctor carefully feels the knee to determine just what the best site for administration is. Then, he or she cleans the area to remove any germs and sanitize the injection site. Next, he or she will spray a topical anesthetic onto the skin and inject a numbing agent. The spray and the injection numb the skin by temporarily deadening the nerves in the skin tissue and takes effect very quickly. Many patients do not even feel a pinch during the treatment because of this anesthetic.
Once the area is prepared, the doctor will remove any fluid from the knee using a syringe. Next, he or she will inject the hyaluronic acid. This part of the procedure takes just 30 seconds. Normally, the only sensation a patient experiences is a slight feeling of pressure. After the injection, the area is cleaned and a bandage is placed over the area. Then, the doctor will bend and straighten the leg to help the fluid become evenly distributed.
After treatment, you’ll need to rest your knee for 48 hours. During that time period, you should not do any type of exercise that involves bending your knee, and you should not lift anything heavy or stand for long periods of time.
Knee Osteoarthritis and the Use of Hyaluronic Acid Joint Injections
Synvisc is FDA-approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knees. Prior to approving the treatment for use in the United States, the FDA conducted a full review of the research regarding the effectiveness of the injection. Based on their findings, the treatment is allowed to be promoted as having the potential to provide full to partial osteoarthritis pain relief in the knee for a full 6 months. It is important to keep in mind that Synvisc does not work for everyone, and there is no way to predict whether or not a hyaluronic acid joint injection will be able to relieve your symptoms.
Even when Synvisc is effective, it does not provide benefits immediately. Most patients report beginning to notice a decrease in osteoarthritis symptoms in the knee approximately 1 month after the injection.
Are There any Synvisc Side Effects?
Synvisc is a safe procedure, but there are some risks for side effects associated with its use. The most common side effects are swelling in the knee, pain and warmth in the joint. Your doctor will likely tell you to apply ice to help alleviate any discomfort that you experience, and typically, these symptoms fade within a day or two of treatment. Infrequently, the injections have been reported to cause difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, fever, itching, muscle cramps and swelling of the hands and feet; however, these side effects are extremely rare.
Not everyone can safely undergo Synvisc treatments. If you are allergic to chicken or eggs or have ever experienced a reaction when using a hyaluronic acid skin care product or oral dietary supplement, you could have a reaction to the injection. Anyone with an infection in their joint or leg should not receive a hyaluronic acid injection. Circulatory problems could also prevent you from safely undergoing Synvisc injections.
What is the Cost of Synvisc Cost?
Costs for Synvisc injections can vary based on geographic area. The average fee is around $1,000 for the entire procedure, including the billing for the doctor’s time at the appointment. Most health insurance plans will pay for the cost of Synvisc, and it is generally covered by Medicare for individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.
The only way to know for sure if you could potentially benefit from Synvisc injections is to talk to your doctor. He or she can discuss the pros and cons of treatment with you and help you make the best decision about how to manage the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.