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There is no miracle drug or cure for Osteoarthritis, but if you are not satisfied with your current medication, ask your doctor about Synvisc (Canadian Packaging-English). This is a kit of 3 x 2ml injections of Hylan, a gel-like fluid made from Hyaluronan that comes from the combs of chickens that can provide up to 6 months of relief from knee pain. Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to avian products (feathers, eggs). Hyaluronan, also known as Hyaluronic Acid, is found throughout your own body as a natural substance but levels can drop as you get older.
Your doctor will administer the injection of Synvisc to be certain the contents are in the joint space where it acts like your own synovial fluid. The purpose of the synovial fluid is to keep the ends of the knee bones apart to protect from wear and tear on the cartilage coverings, it keeps the joint lubricated, it works as a shock absorber, and it blocks cells and substances from passing into the fluid that may be harmful while allowing nutrients to reach the cartilage.
Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that usually occurs around 45 years of age, but it has appeared in younger people. Men and women tend to get OA equally, however women who have gone through menopause are inclined to be affected with more complicated issues. The joints most often affected include hips, spine, knees, hands, and feet but it can happen in any joint and cause swelling, stiffness, loss of flexibility of the joint, and pain. Risk factors for getting osteoarthritis are your weight, age, previous injury or trauma to a joint, and researchers believe genetics may also play a role.
Ask your doctor about the risks of Synvisc if you are still child-bearing age and hope to conceive or are breast feeding. Explain other medical conditions and allergies you have to your doctor and list any OTC and Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal preparations and vitamin or dietary supplements. This will help your doctor decide if Synvisc is the right treatment for your situation.
Your doctor will administer the injection into the affected joint in his exam room once a week for 3 weeks, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. You will need to rest a day or so after treatment, no bending, lifting, jumping. For pain control or swelling, use an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time. You may be asked to have someone drive you to and from the appointment so you do not use the joint after treatment.