Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that affects millions of people annually. Osteoarthritis causes the protective layer of cartilage in the joint to break and wear away, allowing bones to rub together. The result is pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint. But it most commonly affects the knees, hips, lower back and hands. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition. This means that it does not resolve itself. However, pain and function can be controlled in many cases with proper diet and exercise. There are many non-surgical treatments for arthritis that are available, including: over the counter medications (Tylenol and Advil), prescription NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory pain medications), cortisone injections, viscosupplementation injections (gel shots), and regenerative medicine injections (PRP).
Dr. Harary specializes in the non-surgical treatment of osteoarthritis and can help find the right treatment plan to improve your quality of life.
Often called “gel shots” by patients, viscosupplementation injections refer to injection of hyaluronic acid into the affected into a arthritic joint. Although commonly used on the knee, this injection is effective on other bodily joints. These injections provide lubrication to the joint in order to decrease pain and increase function.
They are safe to perform and do not interact with medications that the patient may be taking and are typically performed as a series of injections, once per week for 3-5 weeks, depending on the brand used.
Relief can be seen for 6 months or longer and the series can be repeated every 6 months. The injection is done under ultrasound guidance to ensure proper placement of the medication. Learn more about viscosupplementation by clicking here.
This involves injection of a steroid, usually along with an anesthetic such as lidocaine, into the joint. The purpose of the injection is to decrease pain by reducing inflammation.
There are anti-inflammatory medications that may be prescribed to help with pain. This can be prescribed either orally or topically.
These have shown promising results in studies involving patients with knee arthritis and have been used as treatments for patients with arthritis of other body parts as well. For more information click here.