The ABCs of Osteoarthritis of the Knee
May 01, 2004
(NAPSI)-Everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and even driving may be extremely painful if you're one of the millions of Americans with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. OA is a chronic, degenerative disease in which the protective surfaces of the joint gradually wear away. OA can cause pain ranging from mild to severe and can significantly diminish a person's quality of life.
According to Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, an orthopaedic surgeon from The University of Pennsylvania, "People with OA of the knee frequently experience pain when standing or walking, which makes everyday activities, like playing with children and grandchildren or gardening difficult, if not impossible. But there are things that can be done to help those with OA of the knee lead healthier and more active lives."
Dr. DiNubile recommends the following ABCs to help people with OA of the knee:
• Ask about your options- Speak with your doctor about appropriate exercise programs and other treatment options for managing pain associated with OA of the knee.
• Be active-Get and stay active! An appropriate exercise program helps keep your body in shape and can help improve the mobility of your joints. Remember to keep your activities light and avoid strenuous activities that may cause more knee pain.
• Carefully monitor your weight-A balanced diet and weight control can help manage the pain, inflammation, and loss of function caused by arthritis. Keeping close to your healthy body weight also helps to decrease pressure on the knee joint.
In addition to a regular exercise regimen and weight management, your doctor may recommend treatment options for OA of the knee that range from behavior modification like rest and physical therapy to medications such as acetaminophen, NSAIDs, or COX-2 inhibitors. Another increasingly popular treatment, viscosupplementation (VS), is a novel FDA-approved, pill-free treatment for pain associated with OA of the knee. This treatment involves injecting a gel directly into an arthritic knee joint to help relieve OA knee pain. SYNVISC® (hylan G-F 20), the leading VS product used in the United States, can help to relieve pain associated with OA of the knee and may improve joint mobility for up to 6 months.
SYNVISC is indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative nonpharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen.
SYNVISC is generally well tolerated; however, it may not work for everyone. In medical studies, the most commonly reported side effects were temporary pain, swelling, and/or fluid accumulation in the injected knee. If fluid accumulation is large or painful, call your doctor. Other side effects, such as rash, have been reported rarely. Before you begin your treatment with SYNVISC, advise your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds, such as feathers, eggs, or poultry, or if your leg is swollen or infected. You should avoid strenuous or prolonged weight-bearing activities after treatment. Talk to your doctor before resuming these activities. The safety and effectiveness of SYNVISC in children and in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding have not been tested. It is not known whether SYNVISC is passed into breast milk.
For more information about OA of the knee and SYNVISC, contact your physician, call 1-888-793-2486, or visit www.SYNVISC.com.
SYNVISC and GENZYME are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. SYNVISC is developed and manufactured by Genzyme Corporation, and marketed and distributed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.