Knee osteoarthritis results from a breakdown of the cartilage that covers and protects the bones. In the absence of this cartilage, the bones can become damaged leading to swelling, pain, and stiffness. This painful and uncomfortable condition is initially treated with painkillers or non-drug treatments like heat or ice. But when these fail to produce any favorable results, doctors may suggest joint injections.
If you are using this injection for the first time, the doctor may first remove any extra fluid from your knees before giving the injection. These injections reduce inflammation and give you rapid relief within one or two days.
If you are a first time user, you may experience significant relief for your joint pain. But this relief is rarely a permanent solution and will usually last for 3 to 6 months. This type of joint injection can sometimes speed up the “wear and tear” process inside the joint if performed too often over a 2 year period and most surgeons would advise it should not be performed for more than two to three times in a year because that might damage the cartilage-producing cells in the knee.
The fluid inside your knees has hyaluronic acid as one of its most important components. As a result of osteoarthritis, the hyaluronic acid levels can change. Injecting it into the knees as a supplement can be helpful in improving the supply of this important substance in your joints.
This injection is usually given when the more widely used methods like medication or steroids have failed to give comfort. This is also helpful for people who are allergic to certain painkillers. These are sometimes referred to using the manufacturers “trade names” e.g. Synvisc, Ostenil, Arthrum to name a few.
The effects of Hyaluronic acid injections can last longer than steroids and are less harmful to the joint. This treatment is not widely available on the NHS.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Injecting Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a, comparatively, new treatment method. Platelets are a kind of blood cell that has natural healing properties. This is a widely acclaimed treatment process for relieving tendon damage and other forms of injury.
But this is a relatively new entrant for joint injections. For this, a sample of your blood is taken. It is then processed in the clinic, using a special centrifuge, to create an injectable fluid that contains a higher concentration of platelets. This is then injected into your knees.
The results of PRP injections for early arthritis and in younger patients who are developing symptoms of arthritis are have been very encouraging.
At My Knee Doc, we have a team of expert doctors who can give you advice and treatments to help you manage your knee pain.
Contact our team for more information.
Call 0161 464 6399 now to make an appointment.