What is a viscosupplement?
A viscosupplement is a hyaluronic acid-based injectable gel that is designed to alleviate painful symptoms associated with osteoarthritis (OA). Patients are diagnosed with OA when the performance of at least one of their synovial joints has deteriorated due to wear-and-tear of the protective articular cartilage. This tough membrane sheathes the bones within the synovial joint and secretes the lubricating synovial fluid, which allows smooth and flexible joint movements. When this cartilage breaks down, the lubricating fluid gets exhausted and bones start to grind against each other, resulting in pain and commonly reported symptoms of OA, such as stiffness, joint immobility, pain, and bone spurs. Patients are usually advised to receive viscosupplement injections when conventional pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment modalities fail to deliver adequate relief. This orthopedic implant is designed to temporarily simulate the actions of naturally occurring synovial fluid, promote smoother joint movements, and protect the joints during sudden impacts.
Is viscosupplementation an effective treatment method?
This medical procedure is an effective method to lessen pain and discomfort caused by moderately severe OA. In some patients, the administration of orthopedic implants helps to delay or even avert the need for joint replacement procedures. That being said, patients must still engage in regular rehabilitation programs that will assist in increasing muscle strength to support the knees and improve joint flexibility.
What are the similarities between Synvisc and Synvisc One?
Synvisc and Synvisc One are renowned orthopedic implants that are manufactured by Sanofi Genzyme. Being the same injectable, they share the same active ingredient, injection technique, and mechanism of action, as outlined below.
- Active ingredient: Being the same formulation, these viscosupplements both contain the type of active component. Both of them are made of 8mg/ml of high molecular weight gel, which consists of Hylan A (fluid texture) and Hylan B (gel texture) polymers. These highly viscoelastic polymers are extracted ethically from rooster combs, which is the fleshy crest on top of a rooster head. The hylan molecules are then highly purified and chemically modified to share rheological properties that are similar to naturally-occurring synovial fluid in young and healthy adults.
- Mechanism of action: Due to having the same rheological properties, these implants are able to closely mimic the actions of the synovial fluid. Once injected into the arthritic joint, the slick viscosupplement gel cushions the synovial space between the bones, preventing them from painfully rubbing against each other during movements. Additionally, the synthetic gel also absorbs impacts to prevent further degradation of the joint. Both implants have been certified to provide excellent pain-relief outcomes. Indeed, testimonials provided by innumerable patients and results derived from various well-controlled clinical trials over the past decade attest to the efficacy of these implants.
- Versatility of orthopedic implant: Whilethe efficacy of these injectable implants has only been tested in respect to affected knee joints, doctors still use these implants to treat other affected synovial joints, such as shoulders and hips.
- Administration technique: Both Synvisc and Synvisc One are indicated to be administered into the synovial space of the arthritic joint via an intraarticular injection.
- Cost of treatment: A complete medical procedure with Synvisc or Synvisc One will cost patients about $1272.70.
What are the differences between Synvisc and Synvisc One?
Though Synvisc and Synvisc One share many similarities, they still have their unique differences, as detailed below:
- Packaging of the orthopedic implants: The major difference lies in their packaging. Each box of Synvisc comes with three syringes that are prefilled with 2ml of gel; these three preloaded syringes make up a complete treatment course. As for Synvisc One, each box is supplied with only a single syringe that is preloaded with 6ml of product.
- Number of injections: For best results, Synvisc must be administered weekly; a complete treatment course requires three injections. The pain-relieving results can last for about six months. As for Synvisc One, only one injection is needed for the same duration of action. Hence, patients who dislike injections are better suited to be treated using the latter option. Kindly note that the results are only observable approximately a month after the initial treatment session.