How Effective is Viscosupplementation for Remedying Chronic Knee Pain?

If you suffer from chronic pain in one or both knees, you’re probably ready for relief. Chronic knee pain can arise from many conditions, and many different treatments exist. It’s hard to know which option is right for you.

Dr. Kenneth Varley and the team at Southern Pain Specialists can help you understand the cause of your chronic knee pain and get relief from the swelling and discomfort it brings. For our patients in in Birmingham, Alabama, we have a host of treatment options at hand to help you manage your pain. One treatment option you may want to consider is called viscosupplementation.

Viscosupplementation involves injecting hyaluronic acid, a lubricating substance naturally found in the fluid that surrounds your joint, directly into the knee joint. The injected hyaluronic acid works its way through the joint, increasing lubrication, easing movement, and reducing pain.

But how effective is viscosupplementation for remedying chronic knee pain? We’ve put together information on the effectiveness of this popular treatment to help you make an informed choice.  

For the best results, choose your practitioner wisely

While viscosupplementation can be a powerful, minimally invasive treatment option for chronic knee pain, the treatment must be performed correctly to experience full effectiveness.

For viscosupplementation to work, hyaluronic acid must be administered in the form of an intra-articular (inside the joint) injection. When injected into the soft tissue of the knee instead, pain and discomfort will grow and the treatment will not work.

Choose an experienced medical practitioner to administer treatment for the best results. After practicing anesthesiology and interventional pain management for more than 20 years, Dr. Varley brings the skill and experience necessary to help you achieve long-lasting pain relief.

Understand results may take time and multiple injections

It’s important to understand that the positive effects of viscosupplementation may take time and multiple injections. Dr. Varley and our expert team will work with you to create a unique treatment plan for your needs.

For most patients, it takes several weeks to notice an improvement in chronic knee pain. Within 2-4 weeks, pain and discomfort should diminish, and peak pain relief typically occurs after 8-10 weeks.  

In addition, the duration of effectiveness varies among patients. The underlying cause of your knee pain and chronology of the disease can affect how long the effects of the treatment last.

Viscosupplementation injections may be repeated, typically six months apart, to provide ongoing pain and symptom relief.

Recent studies support the use of viscosupplementation

When first introduced, results from viscosupplementation were mixed. Advancements in the treatment have demonstrated, however, that the treatment is an effective method for treating chronic pain. Recent studies support these findings.

Viscosupplementation may not be the appropriate course of treatment for every patient, however. Dr. Varley will perform a comprehensive exam and discuss your symptoms with you in order to create the best treatment plan for you.

For more information on treating chronic knee pain with viscosupplementation, call or schedule an appointment online today with Dr. Varley and our team at Southern Pain Specialists.

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