Since arriving at RMH, Dr. Jeffrey Ginther has begun giving various injections in the knee, including a type of injection known as “viscosupplementation”.
Normal knee joints have sacs of a thick, slippery, fluid between the bone. This fluid helps cushion the joint and allow the bones in the knee to slide over one another more easily. When patients have osteoarthritis, this fluid may be thinner and some of it may be missing. When this happens, the bones rub over one another and cause pain.
When Dr. Ginther gives viscosupplementation injections, he injects hyaluronic acid into the sack in the knee joint. This is the building block of the same fluid that is naturally in the knee. By adding more fluid, Dr. Ginther is often able to help the knee move more easily and with less pain. 80% of patients receive 7 months of decreased knee pain.
These injections are not one of the first treatments for osteoarthritis. However, in some cases, they can help patients who are not yet ready for joint replacement surgery, whether due to weight or other conditions. If injections are given every six months, they can delay knee replacement surgery for an average of 3 and a half years.
Viscosupplementation can also help some patients who, for whatever reason, cannot take some of the medications that are normally used to manage osteoarthritis.