Find a season of relief for knee OA pain


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Andrew I. Spitzer, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA

In California, 20% of adults have been diagnosed with arthritis, one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common forms of this condition, affecting nearly 15 million Americans. In fact, approximately 46% of people will develop knee OA during their lifetime. While the condition is common, its serious implications should not be overlooked. Knee OA is a painful, degenerative joint condition that can lead to significant downstream debilitation for patients.

Those who suffer from knee OA may experience severe stiffness, loss of mobility, swelling, and extreme ongoing knee pain. This can create barriers for patients’ ability to enjoy their favorite activities and lead a healthy lifestyle. A recent survey found that patients reported that their condition prevents them from living a full life. Everyday activities, including the ability to climb stairs, exercise, and sleep, have been negatively impacted because of knee OA pain. Beyond the physical pain, 28% of respondents also noted their mental health was adversely impacted, as about 91% reported missing out on social events.

Challenges with Current Treatments

Managing knee OA is crucial, as it can help patients decrease pain, improve function, and stay productive. However, nearly 60% of individuals with knee OA live in pain for over 5 years, and 30% for 10 years or longer. This indicates that current treatment options may not be providing the relief that patients need. People often turn to over-the-counter medications or traditional steroid injections to help manage knee OA pain. While these provide some relief, that relief may only be short-lived, and may ultimately be inadequate to preserve an active lifestyle.

Due to this persistent pain, many patients ultimately undergo a knee replacement. However, some patients may want to delay surgery or are not yet a candidate for surgery for a variety of reasons. In my practice, it’s important to create an individualized pain management plan, regardless of a patient’s circumstances. For those who are looking to get back to their daily activities and hobbies without constant knee OA pain, there are options available that can provide ongoing pain management with a single treatment.

Extended-Release Pain Relief

ZILRETTA®(triamcinolone acetonide extended-release injectable suspension), a single injection and extended-release pain management option, is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for knee OA to use extended-release microsphere technology. Unlike other injections for knee OA pain, which typically only last 4-6 weeks, these microspheres slowly release the steroid over time so that the patient’s pain is continuously managed for up to three months after a single injection. Additionally, patients often experience relief after just four days. A recent study found that 70% of people had mild to no knee OA pain for three months after a ZILRETTA treatment. This treatment option allows patients to feel a season of relief from OA knee pain. 

ZILRETTA can help patients get back to their everyday activities with less pain. This pain management option is also extremely targeted, with staying power that ensures the microspheres only release medication directly to where it is needed in the knee joint. My practice regularly hears from patients who are excited to report that their knee OA pain has subsided after a single injection, and they are able to return to daily life and the activities they love. Additionally, ZILRETTA is a non-opioid treatment option for managing knee OA pain, which allows patients to avoid the risk of unwanted side effects that come with taking opioids.  

Know Your Options

For many people, knee OA pain can significantly disrupt daily life. As an extended-released modality for the treatment of knee OA pain, ZILRETTA can be the difference patients are seeking for the management of their knee OA pain journey as the only option of its kind to provide three months of relief. Patients deserve options that can provide prolonged, effective relief, and help them get back their freedom to move. As a patient, it’s important to remain educated on these options and advocate for yourself when visiting a doctor for your knee OA pain. Whether you’re considering joint replacement surgery or not, fortunately, there are effective, non-opioid options, such as ZILRETTA, available to treat chronic knee  OA pain and help people get back to their active lifestyles.

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This content was provided by our sponsor, Pacira BioSciences, Inc. The FOX editorial team was not involved in the creation of this content.