Osteoarthritis Knee Injections | Pain Doctors, New York (Updated 2023)
Osteoarthritis – also known as degenerative joint disease – is the most common variant of arthritis diagnosed among adults in the United States. You could think of joints like machinery; they are liable to wear out over time as they age, just like any mechanical component. Machines that have been rigorously used are likely to wear out faster, and even top of the line machines need service, maintenancing, and replacement parts as they age out and wear down. This same principle applies to our joints.
OA is more common in aging persons, and it can cause significant (and sometimes) debilitating pain. Researchers are tirelessly pursuing better treatment approaches to halt the progression of the disease. The research isn’t quite there yet, but modern approaches do exist to help alleviate some of the worst of OA’s symptoms, including medications, exercises, and even surgery.
Depending on the severity of your pain, injections are a potential treatment pathway for easing your joint pain helping to restore some of your quality of life. In many cases, we use these injections to try to reduce inflammation and pain in your joints. With certain treatments, you can potentially experience fewer symptoms for several months.
There are several potential injection options to help treat knee pain. These range from corticosteroids, which have been around for decades, to newer therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Of course, your physician will decide which one is best based on your individual needs based on your medical history, diagnosis, and current health status.
When Should You Consider a Knee Injection?
There are five stages of osteoarthritis, ranging from 0 to 4. The level of pain experienced differs for each stage — with 1 being minor discomfort and four being severe pain. Exercising on your own and changing your diet, as well as integrating physical therapy early may be enough to relieve your symptoms if they are not advanced. If you have attempted these approaches for finding pain relief and your symptoms do not abate, you should consult your doctor about knee injections.
How Often Do You Need Knee Injections?
A corticosteroid injection and hyaluronic acid injection may last a few months. Corticosteroid injections can only be administered once every three to four months. This is due to the fact that they carry a risk of breaking down your cartilage and come with other possible side effects, including high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and skin atrophy. By comparison, hyaluronic acid injections may not work for everyone, and how they’re administered varies depending on the manufacturer. You should consult your doctor to determine the risks and benefits of each injection.
How Do These Knee Osteoarthritis Injections Work?
Normal joint fluid contains a substance called hyaluronan. It acts like a shock absorber and lubricant in your joint and is needed to help the joint work properly. Hyaluronan is highly viscous, allowing the cartilage surfaces of the bones to glide upon each other smoothly. When supplemented via injection, this can assist in lessening the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.
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At Pain Doctors New York, we want you to live your life to its fullest. If you suffer from osteoarthritis pain and it’s making your life uncomfortable, we want to hear from you. We will tailor a treatment plan that’s best suited to your needs and help get you back to doing what you love. We provide quality orthopedic care and interventional pain management services to patients in and around Brooklyn, New York.