Both Synvisc and Orthovisc are viscosupplements made from purified hyaluronan from rooster combs. Hyaluronan is a natural compound found in the joint tissues and fluid that fills the joints. The hylan polymers of these products are then extensively purified before they are chemically cross-linked with each other, resulting in a gel that is elastoviscous with a high molecular weight. When one suffers from osteoarthritis, their joints lack the optimal amounts of natural chemical hyaluronan, which reduces the protection of the joint provided by natural synovial fluid; this, in turn, results in chronic pain. Orthovisc and Synvisc are administered as injectables directly into the affected joint area.
HOW CAN OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) BE TREATED?
Osteoarthritis is one of the more common forms of arthritis. This disease affects mainly the joint areas and involves the protective cartilage at the end of the bones being worn out. This causes pain, tenderness, and swelling due to the friction caused by the two bones. This degenerative disease can be found in those who are overweight, those with previous joint injuries, or genetic factors. Usual treatments of osteoarthritis include physical therapy and/or pharmacological resources; the type of treatment depends on each patient and the severity of their disease. If these methods fail to cause the pain and other adverse symptoms of this arthritis to subside, patients are recommended to undergo viscosupplementation procedures.
Viscosupplementation is a procedure that involves injecting the affected joint with viscoelastic gel. The gel mimics the action of synovial fluid, a fluid found in joints. By injecting this kind of gel, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be alleviated. Synvisc and Orthovisc are two such viscosupplements.
CAN ORTHOVISC OR SYNVISC BE USED FOR OTHER JOINTS?
Numerous clinical trials show that Synvisc provides satisfactory symptomatic relief for patients with affected knee joints, hip joints, shoulders, and even elbows. Like Orthovisc, this product allows a large variety of uses meant for many joint parts.
WHICH VISCOSUPPLEMENT SHOULD I USE?
Both viscosupplements provide similar results.
With that being said, both Synvisc and Orthovisc are contraindicated in the following types of patients due to unestablished safety profiles:
- Patients with severely inflamed joints;
- Patients who are hypersensitive to avian proteins;
- Patients who are pregnant.
If you are unsure which treatment best suits you, talk to your doctor.
DOES SYNVISC LAST LONGER THAN ORTHOVISC?
While Synvisc and Orthovisc do have a few differences, the duration of the results is the same. Both viscosupplements have been shown to provide relief for up to six months.
DOES ORTHOVISC CAUSE FEWER SIDE EFFECTS?
After the treatment sessions for Synvisc, patients might develop common effects like fluid buildup around the affected joint, as well as pain and swelling. As for Orthovisc, common side effects include itching, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Both treatments can cause mild side effects. Talk to your doctor about all possible side effects before treatment.
HOW MUCH DOES A FULL COURSE OF TREATMENT COST?
The cost of treatment can be affected by the expertise of the doctor, the number of injections needed, and the area you live in. As well, most insurance plans offer coverage for viscosupplements. If you are considering viscosupplements to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, talk to a licensed medical practitioner today.