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Synvisc Injections for Osteoarthritis- Why do they work?

For over 10 years patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and shoulder have had an alternative to oral medication for controlling knee or shoulder pain.  The advent of the use of an intra-articular injections of mostly known as there brand name Synvisc  or Hyaluranon that serve to lubricate the joint surfaces can provide significant pain relief for for  patients with osteoarthritis.  It is believed that the supplementation of hyaluranon compensates for a reduced amount found in osteoarthritic knees.
Currently, researchers are unsure of the exact mechanism that contributes to pain relief from these injections.  Researchers propose it is related to one or all of the following:

  • Pain relief by “turning off” pain receptors in knee
  • Inhibit the  free radicals in knee that can cause joint surface damage
  • Anti-inflammatory effect in joint

Overall, these injections as a group have few side effects and when done in conjunction with paramus physical therapy have great results.  Most of the time my patients  have improved tolerance for range of motion and strengthening exercises when patients have received an injection.  If you have limited physical therapy benefits are recommend waiting till 6-8 week s following an injections that are a series of three done over a three week period.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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