cortizone shots numb the pain & reduce the swelling, but do not modify the internal contents of the knee or change how it works. Gel shots replace the natural synovial fluid. Your doc syphons out your own fluid, plus the products of inflammation(blood & pus mixture), and injects the gel back in, which then provides the cushioning & lubrication needed for your knee, until it gradually leaks out &/or is absorbed by the body. Hopefully your body will replace it with adequate amounts of your own synovial fluid. The process feels about the same as a regular shot, is done quickly in the regular office, & is effective immediately, altho my doc wanted me not to exercise heavily for a day or 2, to let the gel settle in, hopefully stay effective longer.
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