Clinical trial results have shown that Synvisc injections, a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knees, relieve pain and may delay or omit the need for total knee replacement surgery in some patients.
Synvisc injections are used for relief of knee pain in patients who lacked satisfactory results from:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- cortisone injections (steroid shots]
- physical therapy
Synvisc is derived from hyaluronan, a natural lubricant in normal joints.
Synvisc injections provide relief through "viscosupplementation". The goal is to restore the natural elasticity and viscous properties of synovial fluid. Synvisc is one of the hyaluronates used in viscosupplementation, other hyaluronates include:
The clinical trial assessing Synvisc injections was a single-center study of 56 women and 52 men with an average age of 62 years old. Trial participants had osteoarthritis in one or both knees and had failed treatment with NSAIDs or cortisone injections.
During the trial the participants received three intra-articular Synvisc injections one-week apart. Patient assessments were done at 1, 3, 6, 12, 15, and 18 months.
The Hospital For Special Knee Surgery Rating Scale was used to evaluate the pain relief and ability to avoid total knee replacement surgery. Results indicated that 72.6 percent of patients treated with Synvisc injections avoided the total knee replacement surgery throughout the study. No serious or long-term side effects from the Synvisc injections were noted during the study. Eight patients, however, developed acute inflammatory reactions following the Synvisc injections.
About 13.7 million Americans suffer with osteoarthritis of the knee. It is the most common type of arthritis in the United States. The Synvisc injection trial results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. It was concluded that Synvisc injections appear to be an effective and viable treatment option for osteoarthritis.
Synvisc Injections Shown to Be Effective, PRNewswire, 2/4/99