Roosters Offer Mixed Help for Knee OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis of the knee is a common problem in the aging adult. It can begin to show up before 40 or as late as the eighties. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medical device for this problem. Viscosupplementation is the injection of a fluid made from rooster combs. This fluid is composed of hyaluronate and helps lubricate and protect the joint.
It can be used if the osteoarthritis is not severe and if the joint still has some of its normal fluid in it. Usually, a series of three injections is given. The most common use is to reduce knee pain, buy some time, and hopefully delay a surgery to implant a new knee joint.
Many trials have been done to show the safety of hyaluronate. Even so, there have been enough people with bad reactions that some doctors are questioning its use. The most common problem is pain or swelling where the shot was given. There is some evidence to suggest that these patients had a reaction to the rooster comb. Another possibility is that the injection had gotten contaminated as a result of the purification process.
These injections are being used as a new treatment for knee osteoarthritis. Pain and swelling at the site of the injection is a sign of tissue inflammation. Anyone who has a reaction to rooster comb should notify his or her doctor and determine an appropriate course of action.
Andrew L. Chen, MD, MS, et al. Granulomatous Inflammation After Hylan G-F 20 Viscosupplementation of the Knee. A Report of Six Cases. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. July, 2002. Vol. 84-A. No. 7. Pp. 1142-1147.
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