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About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and the most common joint condition, worldwide. In the U.S. alone, more than 21 million people suffer from OA—and more than 14 million of those are estimated to have OA in one or both knees.

In knees with OA, the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones gradually deteriorates, and the joint fluid—called synovial fluid—loses its shock-absorbing qualities. Bones may begin to rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness and loss of movement in the joint. By contrast, a healthy knee’s cartilage and lubricating joint fluid protect and cushion the bones, making moving and bending easy.

The stages of osteoarthritis of the knee

Doctors use two different sets of terminology to talk about the severity of OA. Some may characterize OA as grade 1 to 4 (view the images on the right to learn more). Other doctors may describe OA as mild, moderate or severe.

Mild. The surface of the cartilage in your knee joint begins to wear down. Symptoms are generally mild, and may include occasional pain and brief morning stiffness.

Moderate. Joint cartilage continues to wear away and joint fluid may lose its ability to lubricate and cushion the knee. Bony growths, or spurs, may also form on the edges of the bones. Moving may become more painful.

Severe. Cartilage may totally wear away, causing bones to rub against each other. Pain may be more constant or more severe; your ability to perform day-to-day activities can diminish.

The symptoms of osteoarthritis are treatable, especially in the early stages. If you have pain or stiffness in one or both knees, ask your doctor if you have OA.

As cartilage wears away, the joint space narrows, eventually leading to bone on bone in Grade 4.


Alain Elbaz, MD. – Orthopaedic Surgeon Meet Dr Alain Elbaz
Alain Elbaz, MD.
Orthopaedic Surgeon
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Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) and SYNVISC® (hylan G-F 20) are indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen.


Important Safety Information

Before trying Synvisc-One or SYNVISC, tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds—such as feathers, eggs or poultry—or if your leg is swollen or infected. Synvisc-One and SYNVISC are only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Synvisc-One and SYNVISC have not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment. Synvisc-One and SYNVISC have not been tested in children, pregnant women or women who are nursing. You should tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant or if you are nursing a child. The side effects most commonly seen when Synvisc-One or SYNVISC is injected into the knee were pain, swelling and/or fluid buildup in or around the knee. Cases where the swelling is extensive or painful should be discussed with your doctor. Allergic reactions such as rash and hives have been reported rarely.

View the Complete Prescribing Information for Synvisc-One (PDF)
View the Complete Prescribing Information for SYNVISC (PDF)


© Alain Elbaz MD Orthopaedic Hip Knee & Shoulder Surgeon Cypress Houston Texas