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Osteoarthritis FAQ

Do you suffer from pain in joints?

Pain commonly occurs in the knee joint, hip joint, spine, hand, fingers, ankle joint, joints in foot.

You might be suffering from joint pain because of a problem called Osteoarthritis!!! Let us see what happens in Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis – is a degenerative joint disease which results from breakdown of cartilage-the shock absorber between bones.

Bones under the cartilage rub against each other causing:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Loss of motion
  • Cracking sound

At later stages:

  • Joint loses its shape
  • Bony surface shows spurs due to calcium deposition
  • Bits of bone break off
  • Broken bits float inside joint space
  • More pain and damage to the joint

You may compare it to a sliding window which moves on window tracks because of rollers located at the bottom of the window panel. After passage of time the rollers start eroding and as a result the window stops moving until we start using oil as a lubricant. Here the rollers are the cartilage, the track and windows are the bones and the oil is the fluid between two bones called synovial fluid (joint fluid).

What are the stages of osteoarthritis?
What are the risk factors for developing osteoarthritis?
  • Obesity
  • Females are more prone than males
  • Increasing age
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Repetitive occupational trauma
  • Genetic factors
  • History of inflammatory arthritis
  • Neuromuscular disorder
  • Metabolic disorder
What are the objectives of osteoarthritis treatment

Primary objectives:

  • Pain relief
  • Improving joint function
  • Delaying /halting joint deterioration

Secondary objectives

  • Improve overall quality of life
  • Reduce usage of drugs to ensure less side effects and toxicity
  • Good quality of sleep
  • Waking up fresh in the morning
What should I do for better health of joints?

Prevention is always better than cure. But as you might have already been diagnosed with OA, you need to ensure the following:

  • Initially manage the pain for a few days with pain killers. This will help relieve the pain and allow joint movement. However, long-term use of pain killers (NSAIDs, opioids) can be habit-forming and/or have serious side effects.
  • Delay / Halt the joint deterioration:
    • Reduce the stress on joint by changing your lifestyle, reducing weight, strenuous activities.
    • Improve joint muscle strength : Muscles provide the stability to the joints and physiotherapy can be very helpful in this. Do the exercises advised by your doctors.
    • Use products which provide better nutrition to the cartilage
  • Latest approach in managing the patient is by replacing the damaged synovial fluid
  • Surgical corrections : For example: arthroscopy + viscosupplement or arthoscopy + platelet rich plasma and viscosupplementation or arthoscopy + Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation and viscosupplementation
Know more about synovial fluid replacement :
  • Viscosupplements are an effective option
  • They are injected directly in joint space
  • They lubricate joints and help bones glide
  • Replace natural joint lubricant – synovial fluid
  • Normalizes the joint fluid
  • Pain is relieved for a minimum of six months and upto twelve months
  • It is like oiling your sliding window just once a year to make it run smoothly throughout the year
How do viscosupplements work?

The major ingredient of synovial fluid (joint lubricant) is hyaluronic acid (HA)

  • HA is injected directly into knee joints
  • Restores the viscosity
  • Absorbs shock
  • Ensures lubrication
  • Reduces pain
  • Protects cartilage
  • Synthesizes new HA
  • Helps better physiotherapy
  • Improves quality of life
What are the benefits of viscosupplementation?
  • Restores the viscosity, elasticity and maintains the pressure due to its molecular properties
  • Convenience of one injection for 6 to 12 months or more
  • Does the work of natural lubricant (synovial fluid)
How much time does it take to inject HA?

Injection takes a few minutes and may be administered on an OPD basis.

What happens after the injection?

You may have post-injection discomfort, pain, stiffness, swelling or warmth in and around the knee for 2 to 5 days.

As the product is not going in the blood , it is safe and has no systemic side effects.

What are the ways to take care of the knee post-injection?
  • Apply ice and take rest for 5 days
  • Avoid jogging, lifting heavy weights, and strenuous activity for 48 hours
  • Beyond five days see the doctor in case of discomfort
How fast and how long will the medicinal effect last?
  • Varies from patient to patient
  • Usually pain improves within 2-3 weeks
  • Relief lasts from 6 months to one year or more
  • Results depend on the clinical presentation of patient before treatment
Can a patient receive HA in both knees?

Yes. In case of pain in both knees. As injection is local, each knee will be separately benefited.

How often can HA be injected into my knee?

The frequency of the injection will depend on the clinical examination and test reports. Trust your doctor.

Which are the surgical options available?

Arthroscopy

  • Done using tiny camera inside the joint
  • Surgery removes broken and damaged cartilage
  • Knee is flushed and cleaned to reduce pain
  • Recovery in a few days
  • Delays the need for more complex surgery

As approved by the EU, viscosupplementation may even be used post-arthroscopic surgery for enhanced results.

Total knee replacement

  • Entire joint is removed and replaced by artificial joint.
  • May take many months to heal.
  • Relief can last for long time.
  • Total knee replacement is usually the last resort.