What is Synvisc?
Synvisc is an animal-based viscosupplement that is designed and manufactured by Sanofi Genzyme, an American biotechnology company. The active ingredient in this orthopedic implant is 8mg/mL of hylan that is harvested from rooster combs—the fleshy crests on top of rooster heads—before being cross-linked using chemical agents. Hylan polymers are derivatives of hyaluronan (sodium hyaluronate) and in this implant, these polymers are chemically reticulated with each other to form a highly viscoelastic gel. Synvisc also contains other ingredients like 8.5mg/mL of sodium chloride, 0.16mg/mL of disodium hydrogen phosphate, 0.04mg/mL of sodium dihydrogen phosphate hydrate and water for injection. This orthopaedic injectable gel is intended to reduce pain and discomfort in the synovial joints caused by osteoarthritis. Once injected, it mimics the actions of the lubricating synovial fluid by reducing friction between the bones and cushioning any sudden impacts to reduce further deterioration of the joints.
How long does it take for Synvisc to take effect?
This medical device comes with 3-2mL pre-filled syringes. Each syringe must be administered into the affected knee joint every week; a complete course of treatment consists of 3 injections. The maximum dosage is 2 courses of treatment (total of 6 injections) within 6 months. There must also be a minimum of 1 month break between the initial treatment and repeat treatment sessions. Other synovial joints like the shoulders, hips, and ankles usually require 1 injection for the arthritic pain to subside. But, health care practitioners can still give another injection 1 to 3 months after the initial treatment session should patients not regain their mobility. Patients should be able to notice improvements within a month following the procedure and these desirable effects usually last for about 6 months. However, this completely bioresorbable viscosupplement will be metabolised into the neighbouring tissues and the symptoms of osteoarthritis will reappear after the gel is resorbed. Patients can obtain more injections to maintain the results. Kindly note that patients’ age, health condition, and lifestyle habits play a huge role in the duration of action of this orthopaedic implant.