Synvisc Injections Saved My Knees

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It's been about three years since I had the Synvisc injections for the osteoarthritis in my knees. I bring it up now because I saw the doc who did it today when I had the steroid injections for my costo chondritis. He was very happy to get this feedback on how well the Synvisc had worked for me. It's important to get the injections early on before there is too much damage to the knee joints. According to the Synvisc ads, the injections will work up to six months and can postpone knee surgery indefinitely. Well, mine have lasted three years and if I have knee problems again, another round of the Synvisc will likely do the trick. I hope I never have to have a knee replaced or resurfaced.

    I had not been to see this doc, who is my FMS/CFIDS/ME specialist because we had basically run the gamut of treatments which I am willing to try. Also, I've made steady progress on the program we set up for me. He said he basically didn't need to see me again unless I needed something. That was two and a half years ago. I needed his expertise for the costo injections; he's very, very good. I'm sure it's nice to see a patient who has made progress. It gives hope because he can tell other patients of my healing so far. Also, it's good to get feedback on how well the Synvisc injections have done for me. No one expected this level of success.

    Synvisc is made from chicken combs (who in the world would think of such a thing). Of course, at the time, I had to endure jokes about saving money by laying my own eggs. People wanted to know whether I had the urge to crow at sunup. Ah, such clowns! But seriously, folks...I do recommend the injections. Unless one is allergic to chickens, eggs, or feathers, there are few side effects; I had none. I hope if anyone tries this, his or her results are as good as mine.

    Love, Mikie
  2. Lisa_b

    Lisa_b New Member

    Hi Mikie
    I haven't heard anyone that has had this done but my Rhematologist wants to do it to my knees but I have been scared to do it. May I ask if you are overweight? I am and I know if I would loose some my knees would also feel better. I have had Osteoarthritis for about 10 years now and the docs tell me it will come to where I will need knee replacement or I will be unable to walk. I have had numberous Cortisone injections. Last ones didn't do anything. Thanks for posting. Sincerely, Lisa
  3. wld285

    wld285 New Member

    I will also be getting the injections in my knees for OA. He wanted to do an MRI first to make sure I didn't have a tear or if it was just OA.

  4. yellowstrawberry

    yellowstrawberry New Member

    I am glad to hear you were spared of a knee operation.I had the Synvisc injections but my knee was too far gone by then.I believe if you get them before too much wear and tear the could be very useful in avoiding surgeries.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thanks so much for your interest and good wishes. I hope everyone who has this done gets good results like mine. Yes, it is better to do it early on before there is too much damage. Strangely, according to Dr. St. Amand, when FMS has caused the body to store the excess phosphate debris crystals in the soft tissue, it will store it in the joints when there is no more room in the soft tissue. He states that the Guai will pull the debris from the soft tissue but it will not be able to pull it from the joints. I found that the OA in my hands and knees was helped by the Guai. I e-mailed Claudia, Dr. St. A's nurse and co-author, to tell her of this. She said she also got OA relief from the Gaui. It's unexpected and no one can explain why.

    I could stand to lose 30 pounds. I know that would help as well. It's difficult because, while I love to work out, with my CFIDS/ME, it can totally wipe me out. When I'm feeling up to it, I try to get over to our pool for water aerobics and exercise. Right now, I'm on an ABX for my UTI and it causes photosensitivity. The bright light bothers me; our pool is outside. I can't get into the pool until I'm finished with the 90 day cycle of low-dose Bactrim because a contaminant might make its way into the urinary tract. Oy! If it isn't one thing, it's another.

    This has been a tough couple of months for me but it's just a temporary setback. I'm hoping that with getting my costo chondritis under control, the bronchial thing from that nasty cold will go away and the ABX will clear up the UTI.

    I would love to hear everyone else's experience with the Synvisc, or other similar injections. Steroid injections help with the inflammation in the joint but the Synvisc actually replaces lost synovial fluid in the joint and cushions it from bone on bone wear and tear. The Synvisc itself is a clear sticky gel. When it is injected, it is done from the side under the patella and they use a numbing agent. I didn't find it too painful. You have to do a series of the shots about a week apart. I got the best results from the injections on the outside of the knee but that may vary from person to person.

    Love, Mikie

    The doc who did my Synvisc injections is a physiatrist, a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitaiton. I think it's usually physiatrists, sports docs, or orthopods who do these.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Just in case someone missed the post who might be interested. This board is moving at warp speed.

    Love, Mikie
  7. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    It helped quite a bit for knee pain. After arthroscopy I learned that all of my cartilage was gone. It was bone on bone in my left knee.

    I thought this was the result of a car accident but now don't know if this was caused by Lyme. Seems like any kind of trauma to a body part results in long term chronic pain.

    I eventually had a knee replacement in 2001 at age 42. It was very difficult to find a surgeon or hospital to operate on someone my age. They all wanted me to wait until I was over 60.

    I'm trying to get my older sister to get them done. She can barely walk. These shots can help postpone surgery and do make the pain more bearable.
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I no longer run except in the pool. I just found out that when one runs, the pressure on the knee joint is 6-7 times what one weighs. I don't think the joints were made for this. All us old jocks are having problems with our knees. I played a lot of tennis and racquetball so I not only ran on the court but I also stopped short and twisted all the time. Ah, good times :)

    I responded to your Heparin post as did several others.

    I bumped it.

    Love, Mikie
  9. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    After having both hips going bone to bone and getting them "resurfaced" (the new and better total hip replacement) this knees started acting up.

    XRays looked fine but local Ortho Surgeon saw the MRI and off I went to have bi-lat arthoroscopic surgery for meniscis tears.

    I thought this was a "no brainer" operation but afterward I could barely walk. He had to cut much more out of right knee and I've been in physical therapy ever since trying to get better.

    I'm going to another supposedly great Ortho Surgeon Thursday and perhaps he will give me Synvisc. I feel robbed because after losing it, that meniscis is really important for balance and walking or sports.

    So glad to hear of your good results.

  10. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Mikie

    I remember you writing about these three years ago so it's good to read they have had long term benefits.

    Many of my joints are problematic; inherited factors, the wrong sports (though did not know it then), and then becoming ill did not help.

    These injections are preferable to knee replacements since surgery can cause a relapse and for many with these DDs rehabilitation is prolonged and more difficult.

    TC, Tansy
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hollie, my thoughts and prayers are with you. You've been through a lot. I twisted my right knee when I slipped on some water on the kitchen tile floor the day before my gallbladder surgery last Halloween (I told the hospital staff I would be dressing as a surgical patient :) I reinjured it several times and wore a knee brace until it was better. I thought for sure that was the end of the improved knee but it has healed itself and is fine now. I believe I am probably at the top of responding to the Synvisc treatment and it may not work as well for others. Still, even if it gets rid of the pain of bone on bone and allows knee surgery to be delayed, it's worth it. They are improving knee surgery all the time. Knee replacement is extremely painful so the longer I can put it off, the better. My ultimate goal is to ski with my grandson before he is too old to want to ski with grandma. I don't need anything but easy slopes and just being outdoors enjoying the mountains. I guess if I ever get there, we'll see how the knees hold up.

    Tansy, you are so right. My ex had to have his knee redone and then the other one done. The rehab is horribly painful. My insurance agent had his done and he complained about the long recouperation period and the pain. I'm so sorry about your joint problems. Just one more problem you don't need. Take care.

    Love, Mikie

  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have Medicare and a Medicare Advantage HMO/PPO so my doc had to get preapproval and it took forever. I had to pay part of the cost and with the office co-pays included, I think I figured I spent $400 out of pocket for the series of injections for both knees. Still, that's a lot cheaper than my co-pay would be for surgery and the results, in my case, have been outstanding.

    My Mom told me the same thing and she was right too. It's awfully hard these days for most anybody to be able to save any money. I hope if you have the injections, they work as well for you.

    Love, Mikie
  13. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    I'm a skiier and that is why I had the hip resurfacing rather than total hip restrictions after the recovery, I can still ski.

    But knee replacements haven't advanced that much from the research I've done, so I agree with you about putting them off as long as possible. That means synvisc, cortisone or meniscis grafting. I'm not bone to bone on knees yet and will do ANYTHING rather than have a knee replacement.

    I am very hopeful after your experience with Synvisc and hope something will work for me. The pilates based physical therapy I'm doing has done quite a bit of good too.

  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm so glad you can ski. I doubt I'll try it this year but I think the next year, when Andy is in ski school, I'll give it a try. I've skied almost all my life, so I don't think it will be a problem if I stay off the steep stuff.

    I agree with you about not letting the knees get to bone on bone. Synvisc is no good at that point. It's best used early on and the earlier, the better. One of my knees had slight OA damage and the other had moderate damage. There is new knee resurfacing surgery which is advertised as having no restrictions following surgery. I'd rather not have to find out :) My hips are starting to show some wear and tear but nothing too bad yet. I'll probably end up having hip resurfacing one of these days.

    Once I'm on regular Medicare instead of disability Medicare, I'll be able to afford a suplemental plan. Right now, I could be liable for up to $4,800 out of pocket each year. I pay no premium but there are co-pays and anything requiring hospitalization can get expensive. Also, the longer one can put off surgery, unless one really needs it, the more surgical options will be available. Resurfacing is relatively new.

    Thanks for your input.

    Love, Mikie
  15. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    Mikie, I've done a lot of research on knee operations and haven't heard anything about a resurfacing for knees. Can you please tell me anything you know and direct me to any websites?

    I'm on the Yahoo boards for hip resurfacing (Surface Hippy), Total Joint Replacement and Knee Surgery, plus have contacted Dr. De Smet's office in Belgium where they have a knee surgeon who is supposed to be the best in the world. I'm into this stuff!

    I would fly to Belgium in a heartbeat for a surgery that has been perfected in Europe but not done in the USA. Much, much cheaper in Belgium or India too.

    Anyway, besides cartilage grafting and the unicompartmental knee and that new joint that is supposed to be more natural, I've heard nothing about resurfacing.

    Please tell,

  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I've only heard ads on TV and seen one graphic in the newspaper here. Because I live in SW FL, God's waiting room, we do a lot of joint replacement surgery here. Wish I had paid more attention. If I see the ads again, I will take note of who is doing the surgery here.

    Love, Mikie
  17. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    Mikie...Love your term for FLA.

    Yes, please let me know if you hear of new surgical procedures for knees.

    I might as well start following advances in surgery now, even though I'm hoping I can avoid it for quite a few more years. I'm not bone to bone all over yet (just one place).


  18. ephemera

    ephemera New Member


    I have a friend who also did the chicken cure for her 2 knees. She's had it done 2xs & said it was the best treatment she's ever had.

    Glad it worked for you!

    best thoughts
  19. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hollie, I can't take credit for that line but I sure use it. It's true. Thing is that while in the waiting room, most here have one heckova good time. I think they stay a little longer because they are having too much fun to go "home." BTW, have you done an online search for knee resurfacing? Might bring up some good info.

    Ephemera, I'm so glad your friend had good results too. No one ever expected my injections to last this long. By now, I should be on my second or third round of injections. I'm so very thankful. Sometimes a stitch in time does save nine (or, in my case, no stitches at all, just a couple of pin pricks :)

    Love, Mikie

  20. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    Went to new OS today and he suggested I start on Synvisc injections. I have a small area of bone on bone, he thinks it will help.

    So I hope I get as good of results as you, Mikie.

    Physical therapy is doing good on helping me too. But if I do the PT exercises I'm wiped the rest of the day.