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Author Topic: Trying Supartz for a second time  (Read 13464 times)

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Offline Caroline109

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Trying Supartz for a second time
« on: March 29, 2008, 01:24:05 PM »
In December 2005, shortly after my knee OA diagnosis, I was approved by our insurance company for 3 shots of Supartz. They wouldn't approve more. My orthopedist administered them but unfortunately, they didn't do anything. Fast forward a little over 2 years (now), 2 more knee surgeries later, with severe OA in that knee and having been referred to a rheumatologist in January 2007, I'm trying it again, in an effort to postpone at least temporarily a partial knee replacement. This time I have been approved for 5 shots. Hoping they work this time given how much they hurt when administered last time! I'll start them next Friday (April 3)
Has anyone had 3 and then 5  (or vice versa) Supartz shots and noticed a difference in the results? Hoping someone can tell me something positive! I am trying to put off the PKR because I just had 2 surgeries in a 3 1/2 month period (October 2007, February 2008) and would like to give myself a break from surgery. I feel like my body needs a break from some surgery for a while. Plus I have a chronic blood disorder (low platelet count) that makes surgery more deal with than if my count were where it should be. As it is, my hematologist is already nervous about the PKR after mentioning to him that I would need one.
If you want to see a detailed history of my case, click on my web site by my name on the left (I hope it's on the left---not sure while typing this!).
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline jathib

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  • ACL recon, lateral menisectomy, lateral PKR
Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2008, 01:29:52 PM »
Everything I have read about the shots (and my own experience) indicates that they are pretty much useless for severe cases of arthritis. They work less than 50% of the time in moderate cases. Every doctor I've seen (including the one that gave me the shots) told me that if they didn't work the first time they won't work the second time around. I know you're desparate for relief but I think you're wasting your time on the shots.

Offline Caroline109

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2008, 01:40:29 PM »
The physician assistant at the rheumatology office seemed to indicate that in their practice, they get much better results with 5 rather than 3 shots.  In fact they don't even do 3 shots. It's 5 shots or nothing.Those extra 2 shots seem to help to get positive results. I've had cortisone shots in that same knee with positive results but those results last only 6-7 weeks, and as I'm sure you're aware, there is a limit to how many cortisone shots you should have in 1 area. The PA said if the good results from cortisone lasted longer for me, she would do that before trying the Supartz again. But since they don't, we're trying this. I am figuring a year from now I'll be ready for the consultation for the PKR. No one at that office (or the orthopedist's office for that matter) indicated that if they don't work the 1st time, they won't work the 2nd time. I figure it's worth a shot, if you'll excuse the pun. HOwever, if they don't work this next time, I definitely will give up on them for the other knee which, at least for now, isn't in as bad condition as the other one, at least pain wise, although I will need an OATs procedure in that one.
As for costs of the shots, my insurance is paying 85% on the first 2 shots, as I'm not quite up to my deductible (about $400 short) and will pay 100% for shots #s 3, 4 and 5.
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline Plumb

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2008, 02:08:43 PM »
I had 10 shots of supartz last year in my left knee.  5 in the spring time ..5 in the winter.  and 3 cortizone shots. ..

My OS said to me..  the shots sets should last at least  6 months.  Plus he even offered to do them  3 months apart if needed because right now it's all about saving the time I have with my left natural knee. I am in my 30's and have a total knee replaced in my right knee.   My perspective on the shots are anything that will allow you to have more time with your natural knee is worth a try.

I had orthovisc in my right knee. 3 shots prior to my TKR and I will admit that it brought down some of the insane ice pick pain I had prior to the months leading up to my TKR.  Each step was grinding with pain adding a bit of cushion and lubercation to the collapsed medial side helped me if just a tiny bit from the jaw dropping pain of a knee joint that had so much trauma to it.  I do it again ..  in that knee .. I knew I needed a joint replaced but I also was fully aware that the chronic pain I had was no joy either.  If only for pain management..  Try it to get some type of relief. and if you max out on your deductables and co insurance this early in the year..  Think about getting your knee fixed at the end of the year so if you have to have a major surgery your all covered and have no worries when all the bills are adjudicated by the insurance system you have.


Keeping your natural knee is important. Keeping your mobility is priceless.  Finding a doctor who understands that every stone needs to be explored prior to your undertaking a metal implant in your body.  Mind you implants are modern age miracles.  Don't rush so fast to get it done with out being patient.   Even after the fourth shot at times. I had my doubts that the fifth would bring me pain relief..  but somehow  they do .

It is all about joint space. We do not know what your X-rays are or your mobility is at the moment.   If you can get around for at least 4 city blocks I would still encourage you to get the shots even at three months before a replacement.  That is three months of dulling the insane pain of a collapsed joint. 



Offline Caroline109

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2008, 02:42:22 PM »
My mobility with walking is okay, although it hurts at times. Stairs, on the other hand, are not so great. Sometimes I'll be just sitting here doing nothing and get a shot of pain through my knee out of the blue. I can still use my exercise bike, going about 2.5 miles every other day when I remember to do it. It usually doesn't hurt too badly until I get off of it and keeping moving helps with the stiffness. I get a lot of knee pain trying to sleep, keeping me up and waking me up.
I realize timing for surgery and insurance is an important thing, which is why I crammed in an MRI in late DEcember this past year for a surgery I knew couldn't be done until at least mid-January. Having had surgery in mid-October for one knee, I really didn't want a 2nd surgery 2 months later. Having the next surgery in the beginning of February got me nearly up to my deductible. My husband works in the health insurance industry (writing software, mainly for EOBs==he has nothing to do with the decision processes there) so we try to time medical stuff to our advantage. However, this past summer he had kidney cancer surgery (confined to the kidney, had the kidney removed, no chemo necessary, literally back to work (in our home office) about a week after the kidney removal) and that medical crisis put us at the point where just about everything was covered 100%, thankfully, for the year.
I appreciate the input on this matter. There is a lot to think about. WIshing my knees were better and could trade them in for a newer natural model :D
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline moon

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2008, 04:02:06 PM »
morning, i have to aGREE WITH PLUM 100%, ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO KEEP YOUR NATURAL KNEE !!!! try it, what do you  have to lose? i did wonderful with the injections, they bought me 3 extra years, i knew i would eventually wind up with surgery but it was agreat 3 year ride, good luck , moon
bilateral-uni,s  4/14/08

Offline Caroline109

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2008, 09:32:40 PM »
My only thought about keeping your natural knee is what do you do when your natural knee no longer functions the way it's supposed to and causes a lolt of pain? I would love to be able to keep my regular old knee but that's not going to happen because it's too uncomfortable to go through life with it the way it is. I can't take most Nsaids as most people can due to my blood disorder and narcotic  and pseudo-narcotic pain killers make me nuts! Knee braces offer temporary - very temporary -relief before getting smelly and uncomfortable after a while. I have weight bearing issues that I forgot to mention in a response above. Anyway, for now, I'm trying the SUpartz to delay further surgical intervention that is going to happen, in a year, maybe 2 years, or whenever.
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline Plumb

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2008, 10:47:13 PM »
holding off a major surgery for two years is not a bad thing.  You will know when you reached your point where your knee is toast and you can't accomodate it anymore with bandaids.

Offline moon

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2008, 10:49:05 PM »
well, when time is up, time is up, that is where i am now, i am going in for bilateral PKR in april, i believe you just know when it is time, when it effects your quailty of life... i bought 3 great years with the injections, i wouldnt trade them for anything, i am not convinced i will be "normal" after this, i think there will be many things i will not be able to do  or not do as well, but it is one big trade off, i am tired of the pain, so on with  this, good luck to you
bilateral-uni,s  4/14/08

Offline Plumb

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2008, 10:53:45 PM »
I had my TKR and thought to myself.  I would be creeping around like a little old lady the rest of my life.
  NOT So...................at 7 months I was floating in the delaware river and camping and going up hills by the river side.

I still hate carrying laundry around and will try to give puppy eyes to who ever takes pity on me trying to bring up a large basket.. but I can .. Its just nicer when someone does a laundry intervention on me.

Offline Caroline109

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2008, 11:00:26 PM »
Believe me when I say I am really hoping this series of Supartz shots will work and will last a long time. It's not that I want surgery, it's that I think it will be the only option for now. If the shots do nothing, then I'll still wait a while, at least until late fall (if I can stand it) before going back to my orthopedist for a referral to another doctor in that practice for the PKR. In the meantime, I'm under the care of a rheumatologist who will help with pain issues at least temporarily.
I have read and heard so many stories of people having hip and knee replacements and then saying "Why did I wait that long to do this?" when they discover how much better they feel following the surgery. I don't want to wait until it is truely unbearable! So in the meantime, I'll just go as I am.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2008, 11:02:46 PM by Caroline109 »
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline moon

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 11:03:38 PM »
give it all you got babe!!! its all we can ask of our bodies, sounds like you have a good paln,
bilateral-uni,s  4/14/08

Offline moon

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 11:04:51 PM »
sorry....i mean a good plan,
bilateral-uni,s  4/14/08

Offline Caroline109

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 11:09:01 PM »
I knew what you meant, lol! I'm very fluent in my own and others' typos:)
Now I am off to go soak in the whirlpool tub. Almost 4 years ago, about 5 months after my 2nd knee surgery, we gutted the master bathroom and put in a whirlpool tub. Little did I know how much I would need it!
And before I forget, here's a link to the web site I made that is a list/blog of my orthopedic adventures. I updated it recently:

http://hometown.aol.com/iamcaroline109/myhomepage/index.html


Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline Caroline109

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Re: Trying Supartz for a second time
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2008, 06:59:52 PM »
I had my first Supartz shot on Friday (3 days ago). Boy did it hurt. And to think I'll be going through it 4 more times! I hope the pain will be worth it!
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR















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