Arthritis is a joint condition involving inflammation of one or more joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. This condition involves cartilage break down caused by trauma to the joint, wear and tear, inherited deformities, and/or age. Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and swelling. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and medical imaging (x-rays). Initial treatment includes rest, icing, bracing, steroid injections and/or anti-inflammatory medications.
Often times, initial conservative treatment does not relieve the pain and debilitation caused by the cartilage break down due to arthritis. Therefore, we offer hyaluronan injections (i.e. Supartz, Synvisc), also known as viscosupplements, which supplement the fluid within joints to help lubricate and cushion joints. Hyaluronan is a natural substance found in the body and is found in large amounts within the joints. The body’s own hyaluronan acts like a lubricant providing shock absorption within joints and is needed for joints to work properly. These injections can provide up to six months of osteoarthritis pain relief. Some of the above products are not covered by medical insurance; however, many patients believe that this treatment is worth trying before planning any surgical procedures.
To see if viscosupplement injections are right for you, make an appointment with one of our podiatrists today.