Around 14 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis, which can have a serious impact on their quality of life. At OrthoLinks Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Dr. G. Jason Hunt and his team of orthopedic specialists routinely help patients in Tampa, Florida, better manage knee osteoarthritis through viscosupplementation. To learn more about this highly effective and minimally invasive technique, call or schedule a consultation using the easy online scheduler.
Viscosupplementation is a minimally invasive procedure in which Dr. Hunt injects hyaluronate into your knee to promote better lubrication.
Of the more than 30 million people in the United States who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA), almost half are affected in their knees. This number isn’t surprising, given that your knees are the largest joints in your body and their workload is considerable as they provide much of your body’s support, on top of enabling mobility and range of motion.
This wear-and-tear can begin to break down the cartilage inside your knee joints, which is a viscous substance that allows the bones in your knees to glide together smoothly. As your cartilage breaks down at the hands of osteoarthritis, your bones are left to rub together painfully, often causing tiny bone fragments to break off. This lack of cartilage leads to the pain and inflammation that are the hallmarks of OA.
The problem is that your cartilage doesn’t regenerate itself because of a lack of blood vessels. What this means is that OA is progressive and there’s no cure, but there are ways that Dr. Hunt can mitigate and slow the damage — and viscosupplementation tops the list.
By introducing a new lubricant within your knee joint, Dr. Hunt is able to help you move more freely again.
In most cases, patients at OrthoLinks Orthopedics and Rehabilitation benefit from a series of viscosupplementation treatments — typically 3-5 — which Dr. Hunt spaces apart by one week.
The injections take just minutes and you’re free to return to your normal activities afterward, though you should limit anything that taxes your knees. It may take 8-12 weeks to realize the full effects of your viscosupplementation, but your patience is rewarded as you’re able to move more easily and without pain. Once Dr. Hunt is satisfied that the viscosupplementation is working, he gives you the green light for more active pursuits.
How long the results last varies, but many patients enjoy improved knee function for six months or more.
If you’d like to fight back against knee osteoarthritis through viscosupplementation, call OrthoLinks Orthopedics and Rehabilitation or use the online booking tool to set up an appointment.