Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Knee Pain / Arthritis (Synvisc / Monovisc)
BY DR DANIEL MEYERKORT, KNEE SURGEON, PERTH ORTHOPAEDIC & SPORTS MEDICINE CENTRE
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF HYALURONIC ACID FOR KNEE PAIN?
Hyaluronic acid injections are safe and the risk of complications are low. Infection is a low risk with any joint injection. Rarely patients can experience some redness, swelling and pain after injection.
IS HYALURONIC ACID GOOD FOR KNEE PAIN / ARTHRITIS
A muscle strengthening exercise program and weight loss (if indicated) should be the baseline treatment for most patients with knee arthritis. Hyaluronic acid has been shown to be more effective at relieving pain for 6 – 12 months than cortisone injections.
DOES HYALURONIC ACID REDUCE INFLAMMATION?
Recent animal based studies have shown Hyaluronic acid can reduce inflammation and inflammatory (toxic) cells within the joint. It has also been shown to encourage molecules that are associated with cartilage repair.
CAN HYALURONIC ACID CAUSE KNEE JOINT PAIN?
In general hyaluronic acid injections will not make your pain worse, but there are patients who do not experience benefit after their injection. These tend to be patients with moderate to advanced arthritis of the knee joint.
What should I do after Synvisc / Monovisc injection?
I recommend your rest for 3 days after the injection then start a muscle strengthening exercise program with your Physiotherapist.
Does Medicare / Private Health Insurance cover Synvisc / Monovisc?
Medicare does not cover these injections however some private health funds partially cover the cost.
How long does it take for Synvisc / Monovisc to work?
Patients start seeing an improvement 10 – 14 days after injection, with the maximal pain relief around 6 weeks. This can last for up to 6 – 12 months.