According to the recent estimates of UK, almost half of over 50-year-olds experience knee pain on an annual basis. One of the most common causes of knee pain is Osteoarthritis (OA). Knee Osteoarthritis is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis. In this type of problem, the natural cushioning between the cartilage and joints gradually worn out. When this occurs, the bones of the joints rub firmly against each other resulting in loss of shock-absorbing ability of cartilage. This causes pain, stiffness, bone spurs, and affects the ability to move. This can occur due to various reasons like age, heredity, gender, repetitive stress injuries, or knee illnesses.
There are many treatments and physical therapy available to treat this condition and lower the pain of the knee. Physical therapy includes lifestyle changes, exercises, yoga, etc. Oral pharmacological strategies such as anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), simple analgesia, or dietary supplements may also help in relieving the pain. However, this may not be beneficial for every patient. This is why there are other options available to treat advanced or symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis pain. This includes the intra-articular injections which are used to provide relief from chronic pain.
Intra-articular Injection for Knee Osteoarthritis
The role of intra-articular injections for Knee Osteoarthritis is to reduce pain and improve the knee function. Some of the most common intra-articular injections are:
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a type of glycosaminoglycan that naturally occurs in all synovial joints. It has several functions such as energy dissipation, shock absorption, and lubrication within the joints. It is a vital component and primarily responsible for the lubrication of synovial joints. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. However, patients with Knee Osteoarthritis are deficient in hyaluronic acid.
Viscosupplementation reduces the deficiency of Hyaluronic acid. It is a procedure in which hyaluronate (a thick fluid) is introduced into the knee joint. This injection reduces the inflammation and pain, and increases the lubrication in the joint. For this process, patients required 3-5 injections per week.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are used increasingly in recent years for the treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis. According to the study from the Hospital for Special Surgery, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can successfully treat Knee Osteoarthritis. It reduces pain and improves the functioning of the knee joint.
Corticosteroids are a common intra-articular injection that provides relief from pain and inflammation of the knee joints. These injections have a wide range of anti-inflammatory properties that helps in limiting the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. There are a variety of corticosteroids options available to the doctors and they usually advise a particular type of corticosteroid based on the patient’s condition. Hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, triamcinolone, and betamethasone are some of the most commonly used corticosteroids.
There are several treatment options available for treating Knee Osteoarthritis. Some of them include Intra-articular Injection. However, it is advisable to consult an orthopedic doctor before going for any treatment.