Osteoarthritis is a common cause of knee pain. In a knee with OA, the fluid that cushions and lubricates the joint, called synovial fluid, can break down and lose its ability to cushion your knee. The cartilage protecting the ends of bones also deteriorates, causing bone to rub against bone. The result is pain, stiffness, and a more limited range of motion.
There is not necessarily a connection between your stage of OA and the amount of knee pain you experience. You may have severe OA and feel no pain or you may only have mild OA yet still experience considerable pain. It is important to make sure your doctor understands how much pain you feel, and what types of activities trigger your pain.
There isn’t a cure for OA of the knee, but there are several treatments that can help reduce your pain. These may include, exercise, weight control, activity modification, over-the-counter pain medication, prescription meds, steroid injections, viscosupplements, and lastly surgery.
Commonly, your doctor will suggest viscosupplementation if you have tried and failed several of the more conservative treatments for OA of the knee. Viscosupplementation is a series of injections given by our orthopedic Bellevue doctors, anywhere from three to five, that lubricate and cushion your knee joint to relieve pain and can allow you to move more freely. Results will vary from patient to patient, and one typically does not feel results from these injections until after the series is completed.
Viscosupplementation is eligible for reimbursement by Medicare and most insurance plans once every six months. Your exact benefits will vary according to your specific plan, however. Once your doctor determines you are an ideal candidate for visco, we will seek prior authorization from your insurance to ensure they know you will be starting the series.