Treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee
There are several things you can do to help reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Losing a bit of weight, if you are overweight, to alleviate some of the stress on your knees
- Practicing low impact exercises (e.g., walking, biking, swimming) to strengthen your muscles
- Resting when you experience any pain or swelling in your knee
- Applying heat or ice to reduce knee pain
Over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen can help provide knee pain relief. Your doctor might also recommend ibuprofen or topical medications to soothe aching knee joints. If your condition escalates, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin may be recommended to relieve the pain and inflammation.
Viscosupplementation, such as Cingal™, Monovisc® or Orthovisc®, is the injection of a clear gel-like substance containing hyaluronic acid.
A single injection of Cingal™ or Monovisc®, or three injections of Orthovisc®, can help alleviate pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee for up to 6 months. In addition, the corticosteroid found in Cingal™ can provide rapid knee pain relief.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid of the knee joint. Viscosupplementation, or the injection of hyaluronic acid into the joint, is thought to lubricate the cartilage (much like oil lubricates an engine), thereby reducing friction and pain.
Corticosteroid (or cortisone) injections like Cingal™ may be used to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee by reducing swelling of the joint. Relief is often felt quickly following an injection and can last from a few days to a couple months, depending on individuals. Most injections typically take 24–48 hours to take full effect.
Combination viscosupplementation and corticosteroid injection
A corticosteroid and viscosupplementation combination treatment like Cingal™ is a single intra-articular injection that provides the quick knee pain relief of a corticosteroid with the long-term knee pain relief of a viscosupplement (a clear gel-like substance containing hyaluronic acid). Cingal™, the one and only combination treatment, offers the best of both worlds.
The patient literally hobbled in and, after using Cingal™, made her physician cry because she said it meant so much to her that she could bend her knee.
Knee replacement surgery is a last resort option for patients with OA pain that cannot be relieved by the above-mentioned options. The decision to perform surgery depends on many factors, including pain tolerance, disability and the risks and benefits of surgery.
Learn more about viscosupplementation
Cingal™, Monovisc®, and Orthovisc are options that can provide relief from pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee.
- MD, FRCSC
- Director, Oakville Sports Injury Clinic
- Staff Surgeon, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
- Team Orthopedic Surgeon, Toronto Argonauts Football Team
Copyright © 2017 Pharmascience Inc. Montreal, H4P 2T4 Canada. All rights reserved.
CingalTM, Monovisc® and Orthovisc® may not be suitable for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have questions regarding these products, or for more information on pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Product information is only pertinent for use in Canada. CingalTM, Monovisc® and Orthovisc® are trademarks of Anika Therapeutics Inc., used under licence by Pharmascience Inc. Pendopharm, Division of Pharmascience Inc. Product Licences are pertinent to use in Canada. Product Licences herein are not approved for use in the U.S.