The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Injections into the joint => Topic started by: ozzybug on February 28, 2004, 12:57:02 AM

Title: Really dumb question
Post by: ozzybug on February 28, 2004, 12:57:02 AM
 Ok Guys-
Please do not laugh at me, but I really have to ask this before I go to my OS on Tuesday and make a complete idiot of myself for asking him.  It's easier to look stupid when you're not looking someone eye-to-eye! :-[  :P (haha)

I've been having problems since my 3rd scope.  No details in this thread.  I just had a 3rd steroid injection just over a week ago and have had no improvement whatsoever, and am wondering this.

Is synvisc used only for arthritic type problems and not for possible scar tissue?  I know i've got scar tissue in this knee, and the subject of synvisc had come up earlier in the year before I started having the problems I'm having now, so I don't know what step my OS will take now that the steroid injections are not working.

My thoughts are that synvisc is not used when there is scar tissue, so someone please tell me what they are used for??!!

Again, please do not laugh at me because I'm almost kicking myself right now for even posting this question.

Any help will be so appreciated!
Lezlee :-/
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: Beauzer on February 28, 2004, 01:23:37 AM

Synvisc (and Hyalgan) are derivitives of hyaluronic acid which is a chemical belonging to a group called glycosaminoglycans.  These are the building blocks of cartilage and exist in normal joint fluid.

These are used in patients who have osteoarthritis.  The purpose of using these drugs is two-fold.  First there is some thought that they help keep the remaining cartilage healthy (all structures in your body are constantly being "turned over" ie. broken down and built up and this is supposed to provide the correct building blocks, which are thought to be in short supply with unhealthy cartilage).  

Second, they help lubricate the joint.  The joint fluid of people with OA isn't normal so the Synvisc is supposed to replicate the "normal joint fluid of an 18-30 year old"  (Hmm,  I'm 29 and my joint fluid can't be too normal...) :-/

Also, it's horrifically expensive and not always covered by insurance, so I doubt it would be a good option for things other than what it was designed for...

Hope that helped
Danielle ;)
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: ozzybug on February 28, 2004, 01:30:54 AM
Yes- it helped tremendously.  I guess my OS mentioned it because I do have bicompartmental degenerative changes and thinning of the articular cartilage, so i'm not sure if he will still do it or not.

Thanks a million!
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: Beauzer on February 28, 2004, 01:38:19 AM
I just finished my final Synvisc injection yesterday, so if you have any questions (if you decide to go that route) I may be able to shed some light on the subject ;D
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: Janet on February 28, 2004, 05:45:51 AM
I am also looking at trying Synvisc later this spring. I was told that it only works in 40-50% of the people, so don't expect it to be a magic answer for everyone (but I figure it is worth a try). It also works best with early arthritis. If you have a lot of degeneration and raging arthritis, it is less likely to be effective.

Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: ozzybug on February 28, 2004, 11:36:05 PM
At this point I'm willing to try just about anything that will have even the tiniest chance of helping me out of this situation.  I have put 100% into my recovery and PT, and continue to have major problems with the knee.  Problems that are interfering with every single aspect of daily activites and I am just about at my breaking point.

I just have to dig deep every single day to find the strength to deal with this knee as gracefully as possible, and I still try to find at least one positive thing at the end of each day- even if the only positive thing is something small like- ok, instead of this knee locking up multiple times, it only locked up once.

Hope you guys are having a great weekend!! :D
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: Beauzer on February 29, 2004, 03:11:01 AM
In my case, I'm not sure if the Synvisc is actually doing anything  although, it's still too early to give up hope).  Part of the problem is that I got an unloading brace at the same time.  The brace definitely helps (although the brace itself tortures me) but I'm not sure about the Synvisc.  

The series of injections wasn't too bad.  I just had achiness and swelling for a day or two after each injection.  

At this point, anything that helps at all is certainly welcome.  Before we tried these I had reached the point that I had excruciating pain every single time I so much as stood up! :-/

Keep your chin up and keep trying to find that good thing each day.  I'm surprised how much just coming on the board and talking to other people with similar problems has helped me focus on the positive stuff in my life instead of dwelling on my knees all the time.

As for the weekend, it's surprisingly warm and sunny.  I spent a gorgeous afternoon outside with my husband and the dog.  Hope your is equally nice.

Danielle ;D
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: ozzybug on February 29, 2004, 03:20:16 AM
Actually I had a nice time today.  Took the kids, my Mom & my Mother in law to the circus.  The knee hated the entire day, but I refused to miss out on the day because of it.  Now I'm really paying the price for it though.

I am so glad that I get to see my OS this Tuesday because I have a list of questions for him and have also been writing down all the "bad" episodes, ie- numb foot episodes, locking, swelling (w/pitting the other day), grinding and so on.  I'm thinking that I'll be leaving his office with information overload! :P

I'm a bit scared because I don't know what the next step will be as the steroid injection hasn't shown even a remote hint of improvement except for the fact that the swelling isn't staying around all day every day.  All the other problems are still there.

Thank you so much for all your help and information and I totally agree that this board/community is a life saver.  Some days, it's the only positive thing I'm able to name!  I did see a gentleman at the circus today who had no legs and was being pushed around by his wife in a wheelchair, and that made me thankful that I still have both of my knees- even if one of them is in pain constantly, so that's one of my positive things today- the fact that I have my legs.

Big Hugs-
Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: Janet on February 29, 2004, 04:12:02 PM
The other thing I forgot to mention was that it takes several weeks after the last injection before you you get full results (I want to say 10 weeks, but I may be exaggerating there....I can't remember). So Danielle, don't give up hope! I hope it works for you.

I have a question. Does anyone know if Synvisc will work only for the pain of the chondral defect (the arthritis), or will it also help with the tendon pain? I have found that my cortisone injection helped with the patella pain, but the tendons are still very sore.

Title: Re: Really dumb question
Post by: ozzybug on February 29, 2004, 05:26:38 PM
I really don't know much about the synvisc, but since the topic came up, I've done a little research on the net and from what I've seen, the synvisc is actually more for the arthritic changes/discomfort/problems.  There are many people here who can probably give you more concrete information though, so don't take what I say as definate.

Danielle can probably give you more information.  She has been extremely helpful to me.  All of you guys have helped me temendously and I am forever grateful for every piece of information and every encouraging word.

I wish I was able to answer everyone's question and make everyone's pain go away, but sometimes the only thing I'm able to offer is hugs and kind thoughts.

Hope you are feeling well, and thank you so much for all of your help!!