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Longevity of Orthovisc: How Long Does It Last?

David Fuller

Last Updated On: April 23, 2024

Orthovisc injections are three to four shots that can ease the pain for up to six months by acting like the natural fluid in the knee, making it easier to move. According to Anika, this approach is notable because it provides an alternative to painkillers. 

Orthovisc’s launch was a step forward in non-drug osteoarthritis treatment, offering an alternative for patients seeking alternatives to traditional pain relief methods. This exploration is not just about presenting data; it’s about understanding the real-world impact of Orthovisc on patients’ lives and mobility.

This article will uncover the mechanisms behind Orthovisc’s efficacy, its duration of action, and what patients can realistically expect from this treatment. 

Key Takeaways

  • Orthovisc is an FDA-approved, non-surgical treatment for knee osteoarthritis, utilizing high molecular weight hyaluronic acid for up to six months of pain relief.
  • The longevity and effectiveness of Orthovisc can vary based on individual patient factors, including the severity of osteoarthritis, lifestyle, and adherence to post-treatment care.
  • Compared to steroid injections, Orthovisc offers longer-term benefits without the associated cartilage damage, positioning it as a preferred option for managing osteoarthritis.
  • Patients report a wide range of experiences with Orthovisc, from significant improvements in mobility and pain reduction to minimal relief.
  • Ongoing research into new formulations and alternatives, including regenerative medicine techniques, promises more effective and personalized joint treatment options in the future.

Understanding Orthovisc

Orthovisc effectiveness timeline

What is Orthovisc?

Orthovisc is a treatment for knee pain resulting from osteoarthritis, offering a non-surgical approach to managing joint discomfort. It’s a form of viscosupplementation composed of a high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, akin to a substance naturally present in the body’s joints and synovial fluid. 

This substance acts as a lubricant and shock absorber, cushioning the joints to reduce friction and alleviate pain. Orthovisc gained FDA approval in 2004, becoming a valuable option for those who have exhausted conventional treatments like physical therapy and exercise​​.

The Treatment Process

The Orthovisc treatment involves injecting hyaluronic acid directly into the knee joint to replenish lost synovial fluid and enhance joint function, addressing what to expect after Orthovisc injection. Typically, the procedure includes one injection per week over three to four weeks. 

After receiving an Orthovisc injection, patients may notice an improvement in joint mobility and a decrease in pain, as the treatment is designed to restore optimal joint function by acting as a lubricant and shock absorber. 

This process helps in significantly improving joint mobility and overall health. Relief from symptoms can last for up to six months, with the option to repeat treatments as necessary to maintain joint function and comfort.

Factors Influencing Orthovisc Longevity

Duration of Orthovisc

Dosage and Treatment Frequency

The effectiveness and duration of relief from Orthovisc can depend on the specific treatment regimen, which usually consists of 3-4 weekly injections. This sequence is tailored to yield the best results for individual cases, potentially relieving knee pain for up to six months. 

The treatment can be repeated as needed, based on the patient’s response and the discretion of the healthcare provider​​.

Individual Patient Factors

Several factors unique to each patient can influence the effectiveness and longevity of Orthovisc treatment. These include the severity of osteoarthritis, the patient’s overall health and lifestyle, and how well their body responds to hyaluronic acid injections. 

For instance, younger patients and those with milder osteoarthritis might experience longer-lasting benefits from the treatment. It’s also crucial for patients to consider aftercare and follow any recommendations from their healthcare provider to optimize treatment outcomes​​.

Comparing Orthovisc to Other Treatments

Orthovisc vs. Hyaluronic Acid Alternatives

Orthovisc and other hyaluronic acid (HA) alternatives like Arthrosamid and Durolane are designed to treat knee osteoarthritis by supplementing the natural HA in the joint, providing lubrication and shock absorption. 

While traditional HA treatments like Orthovisc offer relief for up to six months, Arthrosamid, a non-degradable hydrogel, shows a positive effect lasting up to three years, with 80% of patients rating it as effective. Durolane, a higher molecular HA, is preferred for its longer-lasting effects, with 70% of people satisfied after treatment. 

Orthovisc vs. Steroid Injections

Comparing Orthovisc to steroid injections reveals a fundamental difference in approach and outcome. Steroid injections provide quick relief from inflammation and pain. However, they may only last a few weeks and can damage cartilage with repeated use. 

In contrast, HA injections like Orthovisc offer a more sustained relief by improving joint lubrication and potentially preserving cartilage, with benefits lasting from three to six months. While steroids are effective for short-term flare-ups, HA treatments are favored for their long-term benefits and fewer side effects, making them a more suitable option for ongoing osteoarthritis management​​​​.

Maximizing the Effects of Orthovisc

Post-Treatment Care

Post-treatment care is crucial for maximizing the benefits of Orthovisc injections. While specific aftercare instructions should always be followed as provided by a healthcare professional, general guidelines suggest minimal downtime. 

Patients are typically able to resume their daily activities shortly after the procedure. It is important to avoid strenuous activities for the first 48 hours to allow the joint to rest and the treatment to settle properly​​.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Lifestyle adjustments can significantly extend the benefits of Orthovisc and improve overall joint health. Regular, low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, or walking can help strengthen the muscles around the knee, reducing the burden on the joint. 

Maintaining a healthy weight reduces knee stress, potentially prolonging treatments’ effectiveness. Additionally, a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can support joint health and complement the effects of Orthovisc.

Real-World Outcomes: What Patients Report

Average Duration of Relief

Reviews of Orthovisc treatments suggest a range of experiences regarding the duration of relief from osteoarthritis symptoms. Some patients report significant relief lasting several months after completing their injection series, indicating that the effects can be long-lasting for some individuals. 

However, the exact duration of relief varies, with some patients experiencing sustained benefits for up to six months or more, while others may seek repeat treatments sooner​​​​.

Variability in Patient Experiences

Patient experiences with Orthovisc injections vary widely. Some individuals report dramatic improvements in mobility and pain reduction, allowing them to return to sports and exercise with minimal discomfort. 

Others, however, have experienced minimal relief or, in some cases, a worsening of symptoms after the injections. The outcome variability highlights the importance of personalized medical advice and considering individual health conditions and activity levels when evaluating treatment options​​​​.

Future Perspectives on Joint Treatment

Advances in Treatment Formulations

The field of joint treatment is continually evolving, with ongoing research into new formulations and methods of delivering hyaluronic acid and other therapeutic agents. Innovations aim to improve the efficacy, duration of relief, and patient comfort during treatment, offering more effective and longer-lasting solutions for osteoarthritis in the future.

Emerging Alternatives to Orthovisc

In addition to advancements in hyaluronic acid treatments, researchers are exploring a variety of other therapies as alternatives or complements to existing treatments like Orthovisc. These include new injectables, regenerative medicine techniques such as stem cell therapy, and novel drug formulations designed to more effectively target joint pain and inflammation. 

Conclusion

Orthovisc represents a significant advancement in non-drug treatments for knee osteoarthritis, providing an effective alternative to traditional pain management strategies. Its ability to mimic natural joint fluid offers up to six months of pain relief, improving patients’ quality of life and mobility. 

However, the variability in patient outcomes underscores the need for personalized treatment plans. Future innovations in joint care are expected to offer even more tailored and long-lasting solutions to osteoarthritis patients.

About: Since 2016, Med Supply Solutions has become a leader in supplying the healthcare industry with top-tier products, including “knee gel injections Orthovisc,” known for their effectiveness in viscosupplementation. Renowned for our competitive pricing, we assist medical practices in boosting their profitability and maximizing their resources. Each client benefits from a dedicated VIP sales agent, guaranteeing a smooth and comfortable shopping experience. This level of service allows our clients to easily access quality products at excellent prices, ensuring they can provide the best care to their patients.

FAQs

  1. What is Orthovisc?

Orthovisc is a viscosupplementation treatment for knee osteoarthritis, using injections of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid to provide up to six months of pain relief.

  1. How does Orthovisc work?

Orthovisc supplements the knee’s natural synovial fluid with hyaluronic acid, improving joint function and reducing pain through better lubrication and shock absorption.

  1. What can influence the effectiveness of Orthovisc?

Factors such as the severity of osteoarthritis, patient age, lifestyle, and adherence to post-treatment care can all influence the effectiveness and longevity of Orthovisc treatments.

  1. How does Orthovisc compare to steroid injections?

Unlike steroid injections that offer short-term relief and can damage cartilage, Orthovisc provides longer-term benefits without adverse effects on cartilage, making it a preferred choice for many patients.

  1. Are there any new treatments emerging as alternatives to Orthovisc?

Research into new formulations and treatments is ongoing, including regenerative medicine techniques like stem cell therapy, which promise to offer more effective and personalized options for joint pain relief in the future.

References

Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (n.d.). Orthovisc. Retrieved from https://anika.com/medical/products/orthovisc/ 

All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. (n.d.). Knee Pain Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.allproorthopedics.com/orthopedic-services/knee-pain-treatment/ 

Reflex Knee Specialists. (n.d.). Are Hyaluronic Acid or Steroid Injections Better? Retrieved from https://www.reflexknees.com/blogs/are-hyaluronic-acid-or-steroid-injections-better/ 

MidJersey Orthopaedics. (n.d.). Corticosteroid Vs. Hyaluronic Acid: Which Type of Injection Is Better? Retrieved from https://www.midjerseyortho.com/blog/corticosteroid-vs-hyaluronic-acid-which-type-of-injection-is-better Drugs.com. (n.d.). Orthovisc Reviews & Ratings. Retrieved from  https://www.drugs.com/comments/hyaluronan/orthovisc.html

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