Dr. Ronald Connor on “Rooster Comb” Injections

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Many of my patients with arthritis of the knee ask about injections.

Since 1997, I have treated thousands of patients with hyaluronic acid injections. You may have heard people refer to this treatment as “rooster comb” injections or gel injections.   The “rooster comb” name refers to the fact that many pharmaceutical companies extract hyaluronic acid from the cartilage of rooster combs. 

The medical term for this type of treatment is viscosupplementation. The oil we use to lubricate automobile engines has a certain viscosity. So, the term refers to supplementation of the lubricating properties of joint fluid.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural chemical that acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads.

With advancing arthritis in the knees, there is less hyaluronic acid present in the cartilage and the lubricating fluid. Injections help restore a more normal joint, usually resulting in less pain and better function.  

The treatment consists of a weekly injection for 3 to 5 weeks. Although this is not a “miracle cure”, most patients receive satisfactory improvement in symptoms. Viscosupplementation is especially attractive to patients who prefer not to use daily arthritis medication, or are unable to do so for various medical reasons.

Dr. Ronald W. Connor is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon who treats patients aged 14 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine.  His special interests include comprehensive care of the knee and conditions of the hand.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Connor, please call 210.281.9595.

19 thoughts on “Dr. Ronald Connor on “Rooster Comb” Injections”

  1. austin ruscoe says:

    Can these injections be repeated over time?

    1. Sara Hicks says:

      Most formulations for rooster comb / hyaluronic acid injections involve repeated injections over the course of three weeks. The possibility for additional injections after the initial treatment phase should be discussed with your physician.

  2. Rebecca Pellegrini says:

    I have been treated for the last three years with cortisone shots for my knee pain. I have bone on bone in my right knee along with the arthritis that goes with old age. Will Rooster Comb injections help my knee pain too? I’d appreciate any advice on this procedure to see if it will help my knee.

  3. Daniel Beltran says:

    I have arthritis in my ankle from a serious motorcycle accident I was involved in back in 1973. I am currently 66 years old and the pain has gotten quite a bit worse, from the fact that arthritis has set in. Can this “Rooster Comb” injection work for my situation?

    Please respond,
    Thank You,
    Daniel Beltran

    1. The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group says:

      A physician would need to assess your particular situation to advise you on a treatment plan. If you are looking for a doctor in the San Antonio area, please consider our Group’s 3 orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists:

  4. Pat says:

    How expensive are these injections and does most insurance cover them

  5. Keith Wolf says:

    I am being told that I need a partial knee replacement. Left knee, inner joint.

    Would this injection work on half the joint?

  6. Billie Smith says:

    I had been thru all the prior steps for knee replacement prior to the passing of my mother the week I was suppose to make an appointment with the surgeon to prepare for surgery. That was in 2012 August. After my mother’s passing, I was the sole caregiver for my brother who is 58 years old, born with cerebral palsy and has been 100% disabled since birth. I lost 100 pounds from 2012 – 2013 and that has helped tremendously, but now it has gotten worse as time goes by. I am scared of surgery as my mother has had severe reactions to the anesthesia. I would like to try this to see if it would help make it another few years without surgery. The only problem is for the last 2 years I have not had any insurance. Are there any programs to help with payment of this procedure. Thank you for your time in answering my statement.

    1. The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group says:

      Please contact our financial counseling department at (210)396-5369 to discuss your options for payment without insurance and to get a price quote for injections.

  7. Karen says:

    Where r u located at n if not in northeast tx. Or in south east tx. Then can u supply another docter in the first area or at least in 2nd area !!! Thks. Karen m.

    1. The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group says:

      You can see all of our clinic locations here to find the one that’s most convenient for you:

  8. claudine says:

    Lif i had those rooster injections a month or two back now I am trying donate plasma and they won’t let me

  9. Isabel Seaman says:

    Do any of the Dr’s in the orthopedicc group give the rooster comb shots and would they help me if I don’t have much cartilage in both knees and I have been told I need a total knew replacement?

  10. Linda hoffman says:

    I m interested in the rooster comb injections, I live in Orange County an wondering if you could recommend a doctor in my area that does these injections?

  11. Nicola says:

    I’m 41 years old and havent had an injury to my knee to cause the issues Im currently undergoing. I’ve had an orthoscope in April of this year and the diagnosis was fluid on the knee and removed some fatty tissue in the joint due to inflammatory issues. Since then my condition has worsened. After another MRI the only thing discovered was more fluid on the knee and possible ligament strain. I’ve had blood panel done to check for arthritis and other diseases. Everything came back normal. After seeking a second opinion, I was given the rooster comb shot. This shot was given 4 days ago and have received little relief. I see in the site that the injections should be once a week for 3-5 weeks. My doctor feels that it is only needed every 6 months. Is that reasonable or should it be once a week for the injection(s)?

  12. Kelley says:

    Can these rooster comb shots help with loss of cartilage in the shoulder? Or just the knee?

  13. teresa fisher says:

    I l live in western nc and wanted to know if these injections can be used for the hip and if there are any physicians in the area who do these type of injections?

  14. Richard Reddick says:

    If I receive the rooster comb injection how do I need to stay off my knees I umpire Baseball

  15. Cheryl says:

    Can these injections be used for treating degenerative disc disease?

NOTE: We cannot provide medical advice or diagnoses without seeing a patient in person.

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