The Side Effects Of Gel Shots
Rare side effects of gel shots include bruising, excess fluid, pain, redness, swelling, and heat around the injection site. However, these side effects typically subside soon after the injection.
Compared to other injections, gel knee injections can take up to five weeks for patients to experience full relief but last much longer around six months. Comparably, cortisone shots provide patients relief within a few days but only last a few weeks.
Additionally, like with any shot, there is a small risk of infection.
Contact Arthritis Relief Centers today to schedule your risk-free appointment. We can help you figure out if gel knee shots are the answer to your osteoarthritis pain.
Start typing and press Enter to search
What Are The Potential Risks For A Viscosupplementation Procedure
The most common side effect includes pain at the injection site, swelling, heat, redness, bruising. This can be treated with ice. Inflammation may occur after gel injection, though the symptoms are typically mild and temporary. For this reason, restricted activity is recommended for 48 hours after the treatment.
The most severe risks are infection and bleeding. The treatment is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to sodium hyaluronate preparations and patients with known infections or skin diseases in and around the injection site.
What Are Gel Knee Injections
Our bodies naturally produce a thick gel called synovial fluid that keeps our joints lubricated and properly functioning. In patients with osteoarthritis, this gel becomes watery as the cartilage in your knees breaks down and is no longer effective in protecting your joints and absorbing shock.
Doctors can temporarily restore this substance into arthritic knees via gel shots. This treatment increased the hyaluronic acid levels in your knees to that of fully functioning joints. Once this fluid is restored, patients can experience reduced creaking, grinding, and inflammation, as well as restored function in their knees and most of all, pain relief.
You May Like: How To Know When You Need Knee Surgery
Should You Have Injections
So where does this leave patients? No study has shown that joint lubrication injections are an effective treatment in a large number of patients over a long period of time.;The early interest in these shots was based mostly on smaller studies that were not well designed.
On the other hand, many patients will swear these injections have helped them, and there is little downside to the injections.;No study has found serious adverse side effects associated with the use of joint lubricant injections in the knee joint. When reactions to viscosupplement injections occur, they tend to be flare-ups of knee inflammation, that usually settle down within a few days.
Many insurance companies have begun to deny coverage of viscosupplement injections because of their lack of clinical effectiveness.;However, if you are interested in the injections, you should discuss with your healthcare provider if they may be a reasonable treatment to try to find relief from knee arthritis.
How Hyaluronic Acid Injections Work In The Osteoarthritic Knee
Research suggests that hyaluronic acid injections may work in several ways to reduce knee osteoarthritis symptoms. For example, hyaluronic acid injections may reduce inflammation and friction, and the slow the degeneration of cartilage and bone. In some cases, it has also been shown to increase the joints natural ability to produce synovial joint fluid.
Effects on knee pain and inflammation Hyaluronic acid injections may reduce knee osteoarthritic symptoms by one or more of its following properties:
- Lubrication. In some people, the viscosity of hyaluronic acid may provide better lubrication and shock absorption in the knee joint. These effects may reduce friction within the joint, thereby reducing pain and stiffness, and preventing the loss of cartilage and bone.
- Anti-inflammatory effects. Research shows hyaluronic acid injections may provide anti-inflammatory effects such as reduced pain, inflammation, and/or swelling in the knee.
- Pain-relieving effects. In some people, hyaluronic acid molecules form a boundary around nerve endings, preventing pain signals from being sent to the brain. These molecules also bind to other cells in the knee that signal pain. Through these mechanisms, knee pain may be decreased.
The viscosity of hyaluronic acid may also have positive effects on the cartilage, bone, and other surrounding tissues in the knee.
Specifically, in some people, hyaluronic acid knee injections may act by:
Also Check: How To Relieve Pain From Twisted Knee
Combination Therapy With Prp Combined With Hyaluronic Acid Improves Patient
An April 2021 review study comes to us from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine Research Institute, The Ohio State University. It was published in The American journal of sports medicine. In this study, the researchers examined the effectiveness of the combined hyaluronic acid and PRP injection. Here are the learning summary points:
- Platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid are injectable treatments for knee osteoarthritis. The focus of previous studies has compared their efficacy against each other as monotherapy. However, a new trend of combining these 2 injections has emerged in an attempt to have a synergistic effect.
- A systematic review was performed a total of 431 articles were screened, 12 reviewed in full, and 8 included in the final analysis: 2 case series, 3 comparatives, and 3 randomized studies.
- What the researchers did was to assess the best possible comparative understanding of the PRP alone, hyaluronic acid alone, and PRP and hyaluronic acid combined treatments.
- The people in their review studies were assessed nine months after treatment
Therapeutic Injections For Knee Sprains Strains & Tears
If rest and immobilization dont offer relief from the pain of a knee sprain, strain, or tear, your NYU Langone orthopedist may recommend an injection of anti-inflammatory medications or a modified sample of your own blood to accelerate healing in the soft tissue of the knee.
These injections do not repair a torn ligament or meniscus, but they may help you recover faster by reducing inflammation. Our doctors sometimes recommend injections in conjunction with physical or occupational therapy to lessen pain during recovery and increase the effectiveness of therapy.
Your doctor may perform these injections in his or her office. NYU Langone doctors may use X-ray or ultrasound imaging to guide them during the injection process. This allows the doctor to inject the medication precisely into the knee joint, ensuring that it has the maximum effect.
Experimental injectionssuch as platelet-rich plasma or stem cell injectionsmay relieve pain and encourage healing in damaged soft tissue. You and your doctor can discuss whether you are a candidate for these injections. Though these injections are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to manage knee sprains, strains, or tears, doctors typically consider them safe and effective in some situations.
Don’t Miss: Can You Run Again After Knee Replacement
Why Dont Some Medical Groups Recommend Hyaluronic Acid Shots
Even though some patients have gotten relief from these shots, some professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, dont recommend them due to the lack of robust scientific evidence of their effectiveness. Some studies have found these injections are not more effective than placebo injections, Dr. Miller says. However patients get a lot of relief from placebo effects of any injection, so this makes it difficult to show the independent effect of the hyaluronan. In addition, given the expense of hyaluronan injections, he says, many insurance companies are reluctant to pay for something only a little better than placebo. I pay for them from Canada because my insurance wont cover, Quina told us on FB.
If youre interested in hyaluronic acid injections for your OA, talk to your doctor and check with your insurance company to see if they may be an option for you.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid And What Does It Do
Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a gel-like substance naturally present in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. Because arthritis patients lose hyaluronic acid as their joint wears away, the theory goes that replacing it with a process called viscosupplementation would make using the joint less painful. The injections are FDA-approved for knee osteoarthritis.
Its mechanism of action is not fully known, but is thought to at least temporarily increase the viscosity, or thickness, of the fluid that surrounds the joint it is injected into, says;Donald Miller, PharmD, a professor;at the School of Pharmacy at North Dakota State University. This may reduce pain and make joint movement easier.
You can think of it like WD-40 for your joints.
Read Also: How To Relieve Pain Under Knee Cap
What Is The Follow
Your knee may feel tender for a few days after the procedure. For the first 48 hours after the injection, avoid excessive weight bearing on the leg, such as standing for long periods, jogging or heavy lifting. This is to reduce the risk of post-treatment flair.
Depending on your condition we may also suggest driving restrictions. Ice can be used to soothe your joints during the recovery process.
Types Of Gel Injections
Viscosupplementation, commonly referred to as gel injection, is an injection into the knee joint with a gel-like substance called hyaluronate, or hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is one of the naturally occurring lubricants in a healthy knee. According to the Cleveland Clinic, pharmaceutical companies in the United States have developed three main hyaluronic acid-based gels, known by the brand names Hyalgan, Synvisc and Supartz. Some of the injection gels are made from biological sources, while others are created synthetically. The technique of viscosupplementation was approved in 1997 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the knee, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Don’t Miss: How To Stretch Knee Tendons
How Is Knee Injection Performed
Knee injection is a relatively quick procedure and may be performed under local anesthesia to avoid pain. A needle of appropriate size and length connected to a syringe is introduced into the joint and the medication is injected. Radiological guidance may sometimes be used to aid injection.;;
After the procedure, the patient would need to rest for a few minutes, and then they can resume normal activities. Patients may experience pain, swelling, and bruising, which resolve in a few days. Ice packs and pain killers can help reduce pain and bruising.
You Are Sitting In The Orthopedists Office: The Discussion Turns To Cortisone
If you have been to your orthopedist recently and are planning treatment options or surgical options you may have been given a paper handout or webpage to visit or verbal advice on what to expect if you are getting a cortisone injection into your knee.
You may have been told:
The cortisone injection is to help you now, it is not a permanent solution.
- It is to hold you over until a more effective plan can be introduced.
Physical therapy may be an option instead of the cortisone injection
- You may then be suggested to physical therapy or continued physical therapy. As we will see below, research suggests that physical therapy would work better than cortisone. But while that may be true for some, it is likely that you are at the cortisone or repeated cortisone injection stage because physical therapy has not worked for you. So you have been to physical therapy and it has not helped you. That is why you are getting the cortisone shot. In fact, you may have tried, yoga, stretching, exercise, and massage for knee pain, and these treatments just didnt help.
You need to lose weight so the cortisone will work better
Also Check: How Do You Stretch Your Knee
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not receive Gel-One if you are allergic to it, or if you have an infection in your knee or in the skin around your knee.
Gel-One is not approved for use by anyone younger than 21 years old.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
blood clots or circulation problems in your legs; or
an allergy to birds, feathers, or egg products.
It is not known whether Gel-One will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.
What Does The Procedure Involve
You can usually receive a knee injection in your doctors office. The procedure only takes a few minutes.
Youll be seated during the procedure, and your doctor will position your knee. They may use ultrasound to help guide the needle to the best location.
Your doctor will:
- clean the skin on your knee and treat it with a local anesthetic
- insert the needle into your joint, which might cause some discomfort
- inject the medication into your joint
Though you may feel some discomfort, the procedure is rarely painful if your doctor has experience administering this type of injection.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may remove a small amount of joint fluid to reduce pressure.
Theyll insert a needle attached to a syringe into the knee joint. Then, theyll draw out the fluid into the syringe and remove the needle.
After removing the fluid, the doctor can use the same puncture site to inject the medication into the joint.
Finally, theyll place a small dressing over the injection site.
Recommended Reading: Can Knee Replacement Fix Bow Legs
Combining Prp And Hyaluronic Acid
A team of Italian researchers examined the role of a combined hyaluronic acid and PRP treatment in a March 2021 published study.
In this study, clinical outcomes of patients suffering from mild or moderate knee osteoarthritis were treated with Leukocyte and platelet-rich plasma or PRP + hyaluronic acid intra-articular injections. Outcomes were observed 3 months and 1 year after the injective treatment.
A significant improvement of pain score was present in both groups, the Leukocyte PRP group, and the PRP + hyaluronic acid. Pain reduction was effective after 3 months and improved after 1 year. The group treated with PRP + hyaluronic acid showed a significant improvement in knee mobility and function scores. In both groups, however, the improvement in Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score , a self-reported measure of functional ability and knee-related quality of life, did not reach significance.
What does this mean?;The researchers concluded: In our point of view, we encourage the use of PRP injections as a simple, safe, and minimally invasive treatment approach. Our comparison of PRP + hyaluronic acid and Leukocyte-PRP suggests that PRP + hyaluronic acid could possibly determine better functional and mobility outcomes. However, our work could not be sufficient to definitively suggest a therapeutic choice: Further evidence is needed.
What is Leukocyte- and platelet-rich plasma treatment? What is its connection to hyaluronic acid?
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Or Bone Marrow Concentrate Type Stem Cell Therapy
Using stem cells taken from a patients;bone marrow is becoming a therapy of interest due to the potential of these mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into other types of cells such as bone and cartilage. This is not a new revolutionary treatment, this treatment has been studied and applied for many years. It is a difficult treatment for some doctors to give. You do need experience in all aspects of the treatment to give the patient the best chance at achieving their healing goals.
Bone Marrow is the liquid spongy-type tissue found in the hallow of bones. It is primarily a fatty tissue that houses stem cells that are responsible for the formation of other cells. These mesenchymal stem cells , also called marrow stromal cells, can differentiate into a variety of cell types including;osteoblasts ,;chondrocytes , myocytes , adipocytes , fibroblasts; and others when reintroduced into the body by injection. Bone marrow also contains;hematopoietic stem cells that give rise to the white and;red blood cells and platelets.
Read Also: What To Do For Sore Knees
Where Are Hyaluronic Acid Shots Given Do They Hurt
If you are going to get hyaluronic acid injections, the actual process is fairly simple. They are directly injected into the affected knee joint, specifically within the synovial fluid that bathes the joint, Dr. Miller says. Like any injection, it may seem more painful to some people than others, but there should not be a lot of pain since a sharp needle is used and the joint may be numbed first with a local anesthetic.
Likely Factors For Success
The people who do seem to respond best to hyaluronate knee injections are of normal weight and have only the beginning stages of osteoarthritis. The injections are most effective in people with just mild to moderate arthritis. If youre highly overweight or obese and have advanced osteoarthritis, the injections are less effective.
Hyaluronate injections also seem more effective on people younger than 65. If youve never had treatment with hyaluronate or steroid shots, youre also a better candidate.
Also Check: How To Prevent Knee Pain In Old Age
How Do Gel Injections For Knee Arthritis Work
The active ingredient found in gel injections for knee arthritis is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by our bodies. It is a key component of the lubricating synovial fluid found within many of our joints. In knees with osteoarthritis, the quality of hyaluronic acid decreases over time1. Low-quality hyaluronic acid affects the consistency of synovial fluid, reducing its lubricating and shock absorption qualities.;
Synovial Fluid: Provides cushioning, supplies nutrients, and reduces friction between the;surfaces of joints.;
The main benefit of injecting hyaluronic acid into joints is greater lubrication. However, there are several other ways in which it may improve joint function1:
- Hyaluronic acid is anti-oxidative. This means it can combat the build-up of harmful substances in the knee joint.
- Hyaluronic acid may increase the knee joints ability to regenerate cartilage.;
- Hyaluronic acid may reduce inflammation within the joint, relieving stiffness and pain from arthritis.
Hyaluronic Acid : HA is found all over the body. It serves a variety of functions from skin repair to wound repair. In our joints, HA increases the thickness of synovial fluid improving lubrication and shock absorption.