Arthritis is extremely common. It is a chronic disease that affects 43 million (20.8 percent) U.S. adults and is on the rise. It is also the leading cause of disability in the USA.
Although there are many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most common. OA is the type that occurs from "wear and tear," old injuries, and aging. It also occurs because of obesity and even genetics. The knee is the joint that is most affected.
There is a wide range of treatments, non-surgical and surgical but no true cure is available at this time, although we are making strides in that direction.
One new approach to OA of the knee is the injection of a lubricant type gel into the knee to improve function and reduce pain. This new approach is called Viscosupplementation and Synvisc is the most popular brand used by physicians. It's different and safer than the old fashion (but still useful) steroid injections. Shots are given in the office with minimal if any discomfort. The knee can begin to feel and function better with less pain and stiffness. Not everyone responds but if you do, therapy can be repeated at a later date. It's certainly a good option to discuss with your doctor if your knee is getting a little creaky.