What are the Side Effects of Synvisc Injections for Knees?

What is Synvisc?

Synvisc is a hylan-based orthopedic implant that is manufactured by Sanofi Genzyme to manage the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis such pain, stiffness, and discomfort. This viscosupplement is meant to be injected intraarticularly into the affected knee joints. Though it is renowned for its desirable effects like joint lubrication and pain reduction, Synvisc can still cause some undesirable, although mild, side effects. Some of the commonly reported undesirable aftereffects of Synvisc procedure are:

  • Irritation of treated joint;
  • Pain in treated joint;
  • Swelling of treated joint;
  • Heat sensation in treated joint;
  • Fluid buildup in treated joint.

These inflammatory reactions are usually very mild in nature and should resolve within a few days. As part of the aftercare methods, patients are recommended to apply cold compresses that can help to minimize swelling and pain. They should also avoid participating in physically exerting and high-impact exercise like jogging, tennis, and basketball for at least 48 hours after the procedure. Not only that, prolonged weight-bearing activities must also be avoided for the same duration of time. Physicians can also prescribe oral pain-relieving medications or administer steroid injections for patients who are affected by pain and discomfort. Besides the common side effects stated above, patients may also experience serious reactions like:

  • Muscle aches;
  • Fever;
  • Headache and/or dizziness;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting;
  • A pounding or fast heartbeat;
  • Difficulty swallowing/breathing/talking;
  • Hives or rashes on skin.

The symptoms above indicate a systemic allergic reaction. Though rare, it can develop in patients who are hypersensitive to animal—specifically avian-based—proteins. Hence, patients’ medical history must be thoroughly examined before they are given the all-clear to receive Synvisc injections.

What should patients do when they display these side effects?

Patients should obtain quick medical attention to reduce the risks of life-threatening health complications. It is very important that physicians educate their patients on the possible side effects that they might experience, and patients have given their consent prior to Synvisc injection session.