When exercise and simple pain medications no longer effectively manage knee pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA), your physician may recommend treatment with Orthovisc injections. Orthovisc is an FDA-approved, non-drug therapy that is made from highly purified Sodium Hyaluronate. Orthovisc contains Sodium Hyaluronate that closely resembles the naturally occurring lubricant that is found in many of your joints, including your knee. As part of the aging process, this fluid production that acts as a shock absorber begins to decrease and your knee joints start causing pain from bone rubbing on bone as you move.
Orthovisc injections are a type of osteoarthritis treatment known as viscosupplementation, which is basically the reintroduction of healthy joint fluid into your knee via injections administered by your doctor. Viscosupplementation helps return proper cushioning and lubrication function to the knee joint, addressing knee pain at the source of the problem and providing relief and allowing you more mobility to take on your daily tasks.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the gradual deterioration of bone and cartilage as a result of fluid loss. Pain, swelling, and stiffness can stop you from enjoying the freedom of movement and it’s not just a sign of getting older. Sports injuries and jobs that require a lot of squatting and kneeling can also take its toll. Because Orthovisc is administered into your knee joint, your doctor will perform the injections that will be spaced about one week apart. After your treatment is complete, you can enjoy up to six months of pain relief.
You should not receive Orthovisc if you have a bleeding disorder, or if you have an infection in your knee or in the skin around your knee. It is important to have Orthovisc injected on schedule. It may take up to three injections before the full benefits of this medication occur. Orthovisc is not a cure for osteoarthritis or other damage caused by your job or sport, but it will help your ability to get around better.
For at least 48 hours following Orthovisc injections you will need to avoid weight-bearing activity or standing for more than one hour at a time. You must allow the Sodium Hyaluronate time to do its job after each injection before any strenuous activities.
After the injection, you may experience increased pain and swelling in the knee at first. If the pain or swelling continues or worsens, talk to your doctor promptly.