Beautiful summer weather brings an opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation. It’s a great time to try out new activities and take up exercises that may also improve osteoarthritis. But for those who suffer from chronic knee pain that might keep you from enjoying even the most mild summertime activities Gel-One Hyaluronate offers long-term relief to help get you out there.
Research supports the fact that being active and enjoying exercise is the single most effective non-drug treatment for reducing joint pain and improving movement in patients with arthritis. When it comes to strategies for relieving pain and strengthening muscles, exercise is the best thing we can do to better support our joints. Activities that will take it easy on arthritis-sensitive joints but still allow you to enjoy the great outdoors include range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises, and aerobic exercises.
Santa Rosa Orthopaedics offers a single injection treatment for patients suffering from joint pain. Gel-One Hyaluronate is covered by Medicare and is an alternative treatment to surgery offering up to 6 months of pain relief in some patients.
In its early stages, arthritis of the knee is treated with nonsurgical methods. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatments, including:
- Changes in activity level
- Weight loss
- Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
If you have tried all other nonsurgical treatment methods mentioned above and your pain continues to limit your activities, a single injection viscosupplementation called Gel-One Hyaluronate may be an option. This is a treatment option is only available for knee pain. Gel-One Hyaluronate is an injectable hyaluronate gel approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee that does not respond to other conservative treatments. It is the first low-volume viscosupplement available in a single-injection formula.
Unlike other viscosupplement treatments, highly purified Gel-One Hyaluronate requires only one injection for safe, effective and complete treatment.
Gel-One is indicated for osteoarthritis of the knee, a painful condition characterized by the wearing down of joints, leading to chronic pain. Gel-One is offered to patients when other treatments, such as taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or physical therapy have not proven successful. Since OA is a progressive and irreversible condition, while surgery may be an option, treatment usually involves managing symptoms. One treatment injectable hyaluronate gel represents an exciting therapy .
In this procedure, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid surrounding joints. It acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads. People with osteoarthritis have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints. The theory is that adding hyaluronic acid to the arthritic joint will facilitate movement and reduce pain.
During the procedure, if there is any swelling in your knee, your doctor will remove (aspirate) the excess fluids before injecting the hyaluronic acid. Usually, the aspiration and the injection are done using only one needle injected into the joint, Some doctors may prefer to use two separate syringes. For the first 48 hours after the shot, you should avoid excessive weight bearing on the leg, such as standing for long periods, jogging or heavy lifting.
As with any medication, Gel-One injections aren’t without their side effects and risks. It’s important to understand all treatment options. The more common side effects of Gel-One injection tend to resolve; however, you should let your doctor know if these persist or become problematic. They include joint swelling, fluid in the knee, pain at the injection site, affected walking, swelling of the hands or feet, headache, dizziness and occasional body aches, sore throat, etc.
Rarely, patients may develop a local allergy-like reaction in the knee. In these cases, the knee may become full of fluid, red, warm, and painful. If this occurs, contact your doctor immediately. Infection and bleeding are also very rare complications of this procedure.
Gel-One Hyaluronate is another component available in the treatments for knee osteoarthritis, offering patients up to six months of pain relief with a single injection. Although some patients report relief of arthritis symptoms with viscosupplementation, the procedure has never been shown to reverse the arthritic process or re-grow cartilage.
The effectiveness of viscosupplementation injections in treating arthritis is not clear. It has been proposed that viscosupplementation is most effective if the arthritis is in its early stages (mild to moderate), but more research is needed to support this. Research in viscosupplementation and its long-term effects continues.
SRO Knee Specialists
Dr. Gary Stein specializes in orthopaedic surgery, adult reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, and back care. Dr. Stein has pioneered techniques in hip and knee replacement surgery and has been performing (MIS) minimally invasive hip replacement surgical techniques since 2001. Dr. Stein is co-director of The Sports Medicine Center at SRO and is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and has undergone recertification as well. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Learn more …
Dr. Michael McDermott is co-director of The Sports Medicine Center at SRO. He is experienced in advanced arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the knee and shoulder, in addition to sports medicine, adult reconstructive, joint replacement, minimally invasive procedures, as well as general orthopaedic surgery. Dr. McDermott’s particular areas of interest include knee ligament reconstruction, and he has developed a special interest in repair of the posterior cruciate ligament and multiple ligamentous injuries about the knee. Learn more …