Arthritis Relief Centers offers several types of injections for joint pain relief. The most common is a steroid injection that’s more commonly known as a cortisone injection. A corticosteroid is a powerful steroid-based anti-inflammatory effective at quickly reducing inflammation and subsequently pain.
In general, steroid injections vary in effectiveness based on the severity of the underlying condition being treated. Other options available include Amniotic Regenerative Injections, PRP, and HA (Viscosupplementation Injections) for knee arthritis.
Viscosupplementation refers to the various brands of hyaluronic acid preparations used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint. These treatments are not considered medications by the FDA, and they are typically sourced from either animal cartilage that’s rich in hyaluronic acid (like the rooster comb) or bacterially derived hyaluronic acid made in a laboratory.
HA injections were initially used to treat knee pain in racehorses starting in the 1950s. Studies began on humans in 1970s, and by the mid-1980s, doctors treated patients in Europe with knee pain related to osteoarthritis. Fidia Pharma, an Italian pharmaceutical company, was the first to gain FDA-approval for Hyalgan in the United States. Such injections have been typically limited to the knee joint in the United States, but many research studies have shown it to be effective in multiple joints including the hip, shoulder, and TMJ joint.
There are more than 6 different FDA-approved brands of viscosupplements on the market today. Comparison studies have been performed that show that all are about nearly equal in effectiveness and that one brand is not superior to another.
GenVisc 850 is a non-avian derived hyaluronic acid used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. Developed by OrthogenRx and FDA approved in September 2015, GenVisc 850 provides relief from knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Hyalgan®is a safe and effective treatment for knee pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. It’s a natural solution that contains the sodium hyaluronate normally found in the fluid that lubricates and cushions the knee joint.
Sourced from rooster combs and is not considered a medication by the FDA, Hyalgan was approved by the FDA in 1997. Since then, over 30 million doses for OA of the knee have been administered. Because it is all-natural, the risk of side effects from Hyalgan is extremely low.
Synvisc® is a high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid used to treat osteoarthritis pain in the knee. Synvisc is unique in that it is a chemically cross-linked molecule of HA, and therefore it’s among the largest molecules of hyaluronic acids used to treat OA of the knee.
Developed by Depuy Mitek, a Johnson & Johnson Company, Orthovisc® is a medium-weight hyaluronic acid developed from fermented bacteria. Since Orthovisc is not sourced from bird cartilage, it can be a great alternative for patients allergic to feathers or chickens.
Euflexxa® is also a non-avian sourced hyaluronic acid preparation used to treat knee arthritis. Approved by the FDA in 2011 and developed by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Euflexxa can be a good option for patients with bird allergies, as they could be sensitive to avian-derived HA injections.
Zilretta® is a long-acting, slow-release steroid used to treat osteoarthritis symptoms of the knee. Because it is extended release, Zilretta is safe for diabetic patients with a lower risk for blood glucose spikes. Zilretta can give patients 6 months relief from knee pain, and it may give longer-lasting relief to patients who have previously tried intra-articular steroid injections and failed to feel pain relief.