What to Expect When Getting Gel Injections in Knee

What to Expect When Getting Gel Injections in Knee

Gel injections, also known as viscosupplementation, are a common treatment option for knee osteoarthritis. This minimally invasive procedure involves injecting a gel-like substance into the knee joint to improve lubrication and reduce pain. If you suffer from knee osteoarthritis and are considering gel injections, here is what you can expect from the procedure.

Before the Procedure:
1. What is knee osteoarthritis?
Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

2. How do gel injections work?
Gel injections contain hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally present in the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. By injecting this gel into the knee joint, it helps restore lubrication, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.

3. How long does the procedure take?
The gel injection procedure is relatively quick and typically takes around 15-30 minutes.

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During the Procedure:
4. Is the procedure painful?
Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the procedure. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the area before the injection.

5. How many injections will I need?
The number of gel injections required varies from patient to patient. Typically, a series of three to five injections are administered over several weeks.

6. Are there any risks or side effects?
Although rare, some potential side effects include mild pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site. Infection or allergic reactions are extremely rare.

After the Procedure:
7. Is there any downtime after gel injections?
There is no downtime required after the procedure, and most patients can resume their normal activities immediately.

8. How soon can I expect pain relief?
Pain relief from gel injections may not be immediate, and it can take a few weeks for the full effects to be felt. However, some patients report improvement within a few days.

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9. Will I need additional treatments in the future?
The duration of pain relief varies from patient to patient. Some individuals may experience long-lasting effects, while others may require additional treatments after several months or years.

10. Can I resume exercise or physical therapy after the injections?
Yes, it is generally recommended to engage in gentle exercises and physical therapy after the procedure to improve strength and flexibility in the knee joint.

Long-term Expectations:
11. Are gel injections a permanent solution?
Gel injections provide temporary relief and are not considered a permanent solution for knee osteoarthritis. The effects typically last for several months to a year.

12. Can I receive gel injections more than once?
Yes, if you find that gel injections provide effective pain relief, your doctor may recommend repeating the treatment as needed.

13. Are gel injections suitable for all individuals with knee osteoarthritis?
Gel injections are generally well-tolerated most individuals with knee osteoarthritis. However, it is essential to consult with your doctor to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

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14. Are there any alternative treatments for knee osteoarthritis?
Yes, alternative treatments for knee osteoarthritis include physical therapy, weight management, pain medications, corticosteroid injections, and in severe cases, surgical interventions such as knee replacement surgery.

In conclusion, gel injections can provide effective pain relief for individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis. While the procedure is generally safe and well-tolerated, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if this treatment option is suitable for you. By addressing your concerns and understanding what to expect, you can make an informed decision about managing your knee osteoarthritis and improving your quality of life.

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