As people age, they often begin to develop symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially in their weight-bearing joints. Osteoarthritis is a disease that primarily affects the cartilage that acts as a buffer and cushion in a comparatively healthy joint. As the cartilage tissues wear away over time, movement in the affected body parts can become strained and uncomfortable. Normal knee joints also contain a small amount of synovial fluid, a thick gelatin like material that further reduces friction in joint movement. Over time, this fluid tends to become thinner and less effective as a lubricant, adding to the problems of cartilage deterioration.
Several pharmaceutical companies have developed products that work to replace natural means of knee joint lubrication. Although there is no definitive cure for osteoarthritis at this time, these products can produce significant improvements in patient movement and pain levels. Dr. Robert Wilson
at New Mexico Orthopaedics specializes in identifying and working with patients who may benefit from viscosupplementation injections. This type of treatment can lead to improved quality of life and help to delay or prevent the need for invasive knee operations.