Synvisc Injections may benefit patients suffering from osteoarthritis who have not responded to traditional physical therapy or N-SAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, such as ibuprofen) use. Synvisc is made from hyaluronan, a substance present in normal joint fluid. Hyaluronan keeps joints elastic and viscous. Synvisc injections work by restoring elasticity and viscosity to the joint.
A doctor administers Synvisc through a series of three weekly injections. Before each injection, your doctor will assess the shoulder and determine the injection site.
After cleaning the area with betadine or alcohol, you will receive local anesthesia in the form of either an injection or spray to numb the area. If your shoulder is swollen, your doctor will aspirate the area by withdrawing the fluid. After the fluid is removed the fluid, he will inject the Synvisc directly into the joint.
You may experience pain at the injection site, or pain in the joint for several hours after the injection; however, it is mild and temporary. Some patients feel the effectiveness of Synvisc injections after the first shot, although others do not feel relief until the third injection. Either way, the patient will continue the course of treatment until the conclusion of all three shots.
Synvisc injections provide relief of osteoarthritis pain for an average of 8 to 9 months, with some patients’ reports of relief over 12 months. If the patient responds well to the treatment, Synvisc injections can be repeated after their effectiveness wears out.
Possible side effects include pain at the injection site, swelling, a mild rash or redness, bruising, or heat. The side effects are mild and generally dissipate quickly, although in rare cases, allergic reactions are possible. Synvisc is an avian product, so you should let your doctor know if you are allergic to eggs, poultry or feathers. Finally, inform your doctor if you are pregnant before receiving the injections.
Last updated: 22-Nov-01