GEL INJECTION

Knee Pain Treatment Gel Injection

Our knee joints, versatile in motion, are susceptible to injury. With frequent and stressed movements over the years, joint suffering and knee pain can arise. The good news is that there are minimally-invasive options for helping to relieve chronic knee pain, including Knee Pain Treatment Gel Injection. The Texas Pain Care team of pain management specialists in the Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Houston areas are fully equipped to diagnose and treat all knee pain conditions, and can help all patients enjoy pain-free mobility.

WHAT IS A KNEE JOINT INJECTION?

While trauma can cause the knee joint to malfunction, the main cause of knee pain is due to degeneration, most often from osteoarthritis. Breakdown of the cartilage in the knee causes bone-on-bone movement every time the knee joint is used. 

The knee is made up of four bones, supported by two muscles, and is stabilized by connective tissues including ligaments, tendons and cartilage. The fluid in the knee joint itself is what helps the knee to function with ease. These fluid-filled sacs are called bursae, and they act to cushion the spaces between the structures in the joint, allowing for pain-free movement. 

Due to the fact that there are many moving parts and pieces that allow the knee to function properly, there is great opportunity for knee pain, which is usually due to inflammation between the connective tissues. 

Depending on the nature of the knee pain, there are a few different types of knee gel injections that a pain management specialist might recommend. These include: 

Corticosteroid injections: these injections help to reduce pain and inflammation due to injury or chronic disease

Gel injections: help to lubricate the joint and manage pain

Nerve blocks: injected medication targeted at a nerve or group of nerves to stop the transmission of pain signals to the brain

Gel knee injections, also known as viscosupplementation, are a great option for remedying knee pain because the injection closely matches natural material found in the body. The injection contains hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the synovial fluid of healthy joints. This fluid cushions and lubricates the knee so a person can walk, run, twist, flex, jump, sit, stand, etc. without pain. People who suffer from osteoarthritis have watery synovial fluid, so by injecting hyaluronic acid into the knee, the fluid is able to achieve the normal level of viscosity and thereby achieve the ability to properly lubricate and absorb shock. As an added bonus, gel injections can sometimes stimulate the body to produce more natural hyaluronic acid!

WHAT CONDITIONS DO GEL KNEE INJECTIONS HELP WITH?

The most common use for a knee gel injection is to help patients who are suffering with arthritis of the knee. After years and years of use, the knee joint begins to break down, with the connective tissue thinning or wearing away. If a patient’s osteoarthritis-related knee pain has failed to improve with physical therapy or medications, a pain specialist will often recommend minimally-invasive gel injections. 

Additionally, gel injections are a great option for patients who endured a traumatic knee injury and are dealing with chronic pain, or those who are suffering with the effects of tendonitis (inflammation of the knee joint) or a torn meniscus. 

Gel injections help to provide pain relief by:

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WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF GEL KNEE INJECTIONS?

Overall, injections of hyaluronic acid to treat chronic knee pain is a great treatment for patients who have yet to find relief, and for those who want to avoid surgical options. Gel injections can reduce the need for medications, can help patients to avoid surgery, and have minimal side effects when compared with the alternative cortisone injections. Gel injections provide patients with a comfortable and long-term solution for chronic knee pain.  

There are some minor side effects to the injections, including temporary pain, slight swelling at the injection site, fluid retention and muscle pain, but these should all be temporary. Due to the fact that joint pain and stiffness will eventually occur, multiple injections will be needed over the course of the patient’s life to help the joint to function properly and without pain.  

WHAT DOES KNEE JOINT INJECTION INVOLVE?

Knee gel injections are most often performed in a doctor’s office as a quick outpatient procedure. After the skin around the knee is sterilized, the doctor will numb the knee using a local anesthetic. If there is fluid in the joint, the doctor will insert a need to first remove the fluid, which should provide immediate pain relief. If not, he/she will inject a needle, with the help of X-ray guidance to achieve the exact, intended location, into the knee joint and insert the gel (for long-term relief) as well as a local anesthetic (for immediate relief). The entire procedure should take no longer than one hour. 

Most patients report experiencing some form of immediate relief after the injection. Results vary from person to person, but the full effect can be felt within a few weeks, with most results lasting up to six months or even a year. Additional injections are usually needed to help continue relief from chronic knee pain. Many pain management specialists might also recommend additional non-invasive treatment options to be used in conjunction with gel injections, including physical therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy. 

If you have chronic knee pain and would like more information about knee joint injections, please reach out to the Texas Pain Care team today. We are determined to help relieve your pain, restore your mobility, and help you achieve a pain-free life. Please make an appointment today with one of our pain management specialists in the Sugarland, Missouri City or Houston areas today so that we can learn more about you and recommend treatment with a goal to help you increase your quality of life. 

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