Reporting Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An oil change for your knees. It’s a treatment for osteoarthritis that’s catching on in a big way. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl says it comes from a surprising place.
Running used to be painful for Bonnie, but not anymore. Sue is able to easily climb steps. And Mark is back to playing golf.
They all had bad knees that were fixed with some help from a rooster. You heard right, roosters to the rescue. Actually it’s hyaluronic acid, a natural fluid that’s found in rooster combs. And it’s becoming a popular patient request.
“Absolutely they’re coming in and frequently they’ll say what’s the rooster comb stuff,” said Dr. Kirk Aadalen, an Orthopedic Surgeon.
The treatment is called viscosupplementation, with products like Synvisc and Supartz. They’re injected into arthritic knees, to reduce painful inflammation and lubricate the joint.
“What the viscosupplementation is designed to do is to try to bring back the more normal characteristics of the joint,” said Dr. Aadalen.
“Gradually they are getting better,” said Sue.
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It’s been more dramatic for Bonnie.
“It’s been magical for me,” said Bonnie. She now compares herself to a celebrity.
“We describe it like we’re the tinman and we go in and he puts some oil in our joints and then we get to go play,” said Bonnie.
“I certainly don’t counsel patients that this is a fountain of youth, but again it is absolutely designed to decrease the symptoms related to arthritis and to make them more functional,” said Dr. Aadalen.
For Mark it means a summer filled with golf.
“I started walking more. I’m playing golf more, and doing it pain free,” said Mark.
The treatment, that is usually covered by insurance, involves a series of injections that can be repeated every six months. But they don’t always work for everyone and can cause allergic reactions.
Doctors at Pennsylvania Hospital offer the injections. For more information call 215-829-2222.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3