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Too Young for Knee Osteoarthritis?

Feel like you might be too young for knee osteoarthritis? In the 1990s the average age of diagnosis for knee osteoarthritis was 72. Today it is 56.

45-64 year olds will account for more than half of the newly diagnosed cases.

What are your treatment options for knee osteoarthritis knee pain when you're in your 40s and 50s?

The average age for a total knee replacement is 66 so what can you do in the meantime?

If you've been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as moderate exercise, diet and weight control, and other activities that can help reduce stress on your joints.

You're probably familiar with oral pain relievers and other options including steroid injections, which are used to temporarily relieve pain and reduce any swelling.

Another option you may be less familiar with is a viscosupplement injection. Also called hyaluronic acid injections, a substance similar to healthy joint fluid is injected into the knee to supplement damaged joint fluid and reduce pain.

Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is the #1 prescribed viscosupplement that helps lubricate and cushion the knee joint, and can provide up to six months of pain relief with just one injection. The side effects sometimes seen after Synvisc-One include (<2% each): pain, swelling, heat, redness and/or fluid build up in or around the knee.

Based on number of prescriptions (IMS patient data, Jan 2015)

  • Get the answers you need from an experienced doctor. Dr. DiNubile is an orthopedic surgeon who has helped countless patients find relief for their osteoarthritis knee pain.

    Featured knee pain questions

    If I'm not ready for knee surgery, does it really make sense to see a specialist, or can I stay with my primary care doctor?
    • Dr. DiNubile's response: Your primary care doctor can be very helpful in managing your knee osteoarthritis, especially in the earlier stages. However, specialists like orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists will usually offer a more comprehensive approach in managing your knee osteoarthritis, including the ability to review and discuss the full spectrum of treaments. Some orthopaedic surgeons' entire practice is devoted to knee problems, and they might even offer more suggestions for you.

    I'm a 45-year-old ex-jock who badly injured my knee playing high school football. It's been scoped several times for cartilage tears and "cleanouts," but my X-rays now show moderate osteoarthritis. I've been avoiding activities and sports and have gained considerable weight. I've tried cortisone shots, but they say I'm too young for a knee replacement. What else can I do? What are my other options?

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  • *As shown in a medical study comparing Synvisc-One to an injection of salt water 1.

    The views presented herein are solely those of Dr. DiNubile, Orthopaedic Surgeon. Sanofi US does not endorse Dr. DiNubile or his book, FrameWork. Dr. DiNubile is a paid advisor for Sanofi US. Be sure to consult with your own doctor before starting any exercise program or health regimen.

    1. Chevalier X. Jerosch J. Goupille P. et al. Single intra-articular treatment with 6 ml hylan G-F 20 in patients with symptomatic primary osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized multicentre, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010:69(1):113-119. do1:10.1136/ard.2008.094623.

  • Indication

    Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is 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, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. Allergic reactions, some which can be potentially severe, have been reported during the use of Synvisc-One. Should not be used in patients with an infected knee joint, skin disease or infection around the area where the injection will be given, and should be used with caution when there is swelling of the legs due to problems with venous stasis or lymphatic drainage.

    Synvisc-One is only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Synvisc-One has not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. 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 has not been tested in children (≤21years old), 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.

    Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment.

    The side effects sometimes seen after Synvisc-One include (<2% each): pain, swelling, heat, redness, and/or fluid build-up in or around the knee. Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects after treatment with Synvisc One.

    View the complete prescribing information for Synvisc-One. (PDF)

    ©2016 Genzyme Corporation, a Sanofi Company. All rights reserved. Synvisc-One, SYNVISC and GENZYME are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. US.SYN.16.03.068

Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is 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, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. View more

Click for complete prescribing information for Synvisc-One.

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Indication: Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is 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 for Synvisc-One: Before trying Synvisc-One, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. Click for complete prescribing information for Synvisc-One»