What is Arthrosamid?
Arthrosamid is a novel, safe, and innovative injection treatment used to treat people with osteoarthritis of the knee. It is a non-biodegradable hydrogel injected into the knee to relieve and treat pain caused by osteoarthritis. It is administered as a single-dose treatment and offers long-acting pain relief without the need for surgery; the result is improved knee function, providing patients with sustained relief by decreasing stiffness and pain and improving the overall quality of life.
When is Arthrosamid Indicated?
Your physician may recommend Arthrosamid when conservative treatment measures such as exercise, medications, and viscosupplement injections have failed to relieve pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the knee joint making the bones rub against each other leading to painful movement. Arthrosamid is administered into the knee joint to cushion and lubricate the joint and relieve pain. One Arthrosamid injection can improve the pain and stiffness of knee osteoarthritis for up to 2 years. It offers patients an effective alternative to currently available therapies.
Who is not a Good Candidate for Arthrosamid Injection?
Arthrosamid injection is recommended for symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. However, you may not be a good candidate for Arthrosamid injection if you:
- Have undergone knee arthroscopy in the last 6 months
- Have infection around the injection site
- Are taking anticoagulant treatment or suffer from hemophilia
- Have uncontrolled diabetes
- Have a foreign body in your knee
- Are going through pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Have an autoimmune condition
- Are under 18 years of age
- Have dental work going on
How Does Arthrosamid Work?
The knee joint, made up of the ends of the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone) is cushioned by a spongy tissue called cartilage. The cartilage provides a smooth surface that facilitates easy movement. To further reduce friction between the articulating surfaces of the bones, the knee joint is lined by a synovial membrane that produces a thick clear fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates and nourishes the cartilage and bones inside the joint capsule. Arthrosamid is an intra-articular polyacrylamide hydrogel injection (iPAAG), which once injected into the joint cavity, integrates with the synovial membrane and thickens the synovial fluid surrounding the knee joint. It works to restore viscosity within the synovial fluid, and improve lubrication and cushioning of the joint to relieve pain and inflammation connected with knee osteoarthritis.
What Does an Arthrosamid Injection Procedure Involve?
An Arthrosamid injection is a minimally invasive procedure that is most commonly carried out in an outpatient setting under ultrasound guidance - this is because the hydrogel should be injected precisely in the joint rather than the soft tissue outside the knee joint. If you administer a drug into the joint without guidance, the accuracy is only 80 percent. Hence, 1 in 5 injections done without guidance does not get in the joint resulting in reduced efficiency. In general, the procedure involves the following steps:
- The knee is thoroughly cleaned and sterilized with an antiseptic solution.
- A local anesthetic is administered at the knee area to numb the area to be injected.
- Under ultrasound guidance, your doctor will then insert a needle into the knee joint cavity and the hydrogel is delivered through the needle directly into the joint.
- The needle is removed, and a plaster is placed over the injection site.
What Should You Expect After the Procedure?
Following the injection, you may feel slight discomfort when the effect of the local anesthetic wears off, but otherwise, the injection should be well tolerated. You may notice mild to moderate pain and/or swelling at the injection site. You are advised to look out for any signs of infection, particularly swelling, tenderness, oozing, or warmth at the injection site or systemic symptoms such as a fever. Medications are provided as needed to address pain, infection, and other symptoms. You should refrain from strenuous activities such as running or lifting weights for the first few days after your injection. You should be able to feel pain relief within a few weeks of the Arthrosamid injection.
What are the Side Effects of an Arthrosamid Injection?
An Arthrosamid injection is a well-tolerated procedure with minimal side effects. The most common side effect is temporary pain and discomfort at the injection site. The knee joint may also feel full or distended. In addition, Baker’s cyst (a fluid-filled growth behind the knee) may occur.