People who have not received adequate pain relief from other osteoarthritis treatments may benefit from using Synvisc. It is injected directly into the knee to cushion and lubricate the knee joint. Healthcare provides may sometimes recommend off-label Synvisc uses as well, such as for treating arthritis in joints other than the knee (including the ankles, hips, or shoulders).
Synvisc® (hylan G-F 20) is an osteoarthritis treatment that is injected directly into the knee. It is approved for treating arthritis of the knee in people who have not experienced adequate pain relief from medications or non-drug treatments (such as physical therapy or lifestyle changes). It is most appropriate for people who are not yet good candidates for knee replacement surgery. Synvisc is often used in order to delay an inevitable knee replacement.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. The condition starts when cartilage becomes ragged and wears away. Cartilage is the tissue that pads bones in a joint. Over time, all of the cartilage in a joint can wear away, leaving bones that rub against each other. In addition, the fluid within the joint that normally lubricates and cushions it becomes thin and less able to protect the joint, contributing to the development of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Osteoarthritis research scientists do not know the exact cause or causes of osteoarthritis. Growing older is what most often puts you at risk for this condition. Knee osteoarthritis can be linked to:
- Being overweight
- Having weak thigh muscles
- Injuring or overusing the knees.
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are treatments that can ease pain and improve function. Some specific treatments include:
- Exercise (see Arthritis and Exercise)
- Medicines (see Osteoarthritis Medication)
- Other pain-relief options
- Viscosupplement therapy (such as Synvisc)
- Surgery (see Knee Replacement)
- Alternative therapies (see Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis or Natural Cures for Arthritis).
Synvisc can provide pain relief for as long as six months. After six months, you may receive a repeat course of treatment if necessary.