Contrary to the general assertion that continued knee pain must result in some form of surgical intervention, injection of a gel substance into the knee joint can help lubricate and cushion the knee joint, providing relief from pain and increased flexibility for many months. In knees with osteoarthritis and deterioration, the joint fluid (synovial fluid) breaks down and fails to provide the necessary cushioning in the knee joint. An injection of gel supplements the existing synovial fluid, to provide both pain relief and improvement of function, delaying or prolonging the need for surgical intervention.
“Viscosupplementation” is a relatively new and increasingly popular treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. The injection of gel (a form of hyaluronic acid) is an effort to restore mobility and functionality to the joint, and decrease pain.
Multiple viscosupplements are currently on the market, however, all have potential side effects of which the consumer should be aware. These side effects include minor issues such as redness, skin irritation, and swelling. More significant complications include breathing difficulties, swelling of tongue or lips, facial swelling, fever, and difficulty swallowing.
Viscosupplementation is known to provide relief in the short term for most patients. Long term relief is still an issue to be determined. The viscosupplementation procedure can be beneficial but as with any medical procedure, the risks and complications, potential side effects, and benefits must be weighed before proceeding. As with any medical procedure, intervention or surgery, the prospects of medical neglect are always an issue.
If you have a claim relating to a form of personal injury, knee injuries, or any medical treatment of an injury or condition, contact the law offices of Heiting & Irwin to discuss your legal rights.