A relatively newer method of treating osteoarthritis of the knee involves the injection of a lubricant type gel into the knee, a technique called viscosupplementation. It is safe, effective and FDA approved. It is done in the office with minimal if any discomfort within a few seconds. Patients are finding good pain relief and improvement in function (knee and overall) that lasts for many months. If you have osteoarthritis of the knee that is not responding to usual conservative measures, then you are probably a candidate for this simple new treatment and should talk to your doctor about it. A referral to an orthopaedic surgeon, rheumatologist or other sports medicine specialist will probably be required.
For many years in my private practice I have used the viscosupplement brand Synvisc with excellent results for many individuals. I have found that patients have responded to Synvisc and comfortably get more active, begin an exercise and weight loss program and improve their overall knee function. Many have been able to delay or totally avoid knee replacement surgery. The treatment is well tolerated and involves 3 office visits (spaced one week apart) for the Synvisc injections. Synvisc does not interfere with any medications or other treatments you might be receiving.