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Rooster Comb Injections For Knee Pain: Do They Work?

A rooster comb

Rooster Comb Injections For Knee Pain

Knee pain is a daily battle for many people.

From osteoarthritis symptoms to torn muscles, ligaments, and even old yet recurring knee injuries, the reality is that chronic knee pain impacts life in more ways than one. 

The good news is that treatment options are out there that offer pain relief, one of which is the somewhat controversial ‘rooster comb injection’ treatment.

​Now, the fact is that this relatively new form of regenerative medicine has been found to be effective in relieving knee pain caused predominantly by osteoarthritis (albeit the active ingredient comes from, you got it, roosters…) 

This is why I’m writing this post—to make you more informed on the topic.

In this post, you’ll learn what a rooster comb injection actually is, how it works, the risks associated with it, and whether or not it’s right for you.

Knee Pain And Osteoarthritis: The Basics

Knee pain is a familiar complaint among people of all ages, and to add to the confusion, various factors cause it. 

Osteoarthritis is one of the main causes of pain in the knees in an aging population, affecting millions of Americans over the age of 50 each year. 

Characterized by stiffness, swelling, and (often severe) pain in the affected joints, osteoarthritis affects either one or both knees, ranging from mild to extreme in terms of symptoms.

Treatment for knee pain from osteoarthritis includes inflammatory-reducing medications, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and steroid injections, to name a few. 

What Is a Rooster Comb Injection?

So, Rooster Comb Injections

A quirky name, I know!

The name itself comes from the origin of the active ingredient in these injections, with some pharmaceutical companies opting to use actual, real rooster comb substances, while others use synthesized versions.

Although it might seem a bit gruesome to inject an animal product into your body, this form of regenerative medicine does appear to be an effective treatment option for osteoarthritis knee pain, and it’s 100% natural in origin, which to many people is favorable. 

These injections contain hyaluronic acid, which is the active component in the cartilaginous part of a rooster’s comb, offering viscosity and fluidity to the knee joint, thus improving knee mobility and reducing pain.

The real scientific term for this is called viscosupplementation

A pair of hands holding the knee

How Does A Rooster Comb Injection Work?

The injection itself is believed to substitute for the loss of cartilage in the knee joint. Once cartilage is gone, it’s gone, meaning the body doesn’t create more.

Cartilage is what degrades over time as we age, causing wear and tear on the knee joint.

A knee injection, in this case, is a minimally invasive medical treatment option that uses a fine needle to inject the hyaluronic substance directly into the knee joint space. 

In doing so, a cushioning effect occurs between the bones, providing relief from knee pain, which may be felt immediately once the patient stands up (following the injection).

The regenerative ingredients in a rooster knee injection work to create natural lubrication for the cartilage surface of the bones and, in many cases, help stimulate new platelet-rich plasma, adding further cushioning to the joint space. 

Hyaluronic acid is the active ingredient in these injections, which aim to reduce further degradation of the bony surface in the knee while simultaneously relieving knee pain.

Studies recommend following a series of weekly injections as a treatment plan for chronic joint pain.

I’m saying that you might need to hunt around for medical professionals who offer the service, as rooster comb shots aren’t yet a mainstream option (cortisone injections are more common).

Risks and Side Effects 

The first thing to mention is that there are side effects to everything in life, not just when it comes to knee health.

In fact, all medical procedures speak about potential side effects, and often, you’re required to sign a disclosure form of sorts to show you’ve understood the risks. 

It’s important to discuss your medical history and any concerns you might have, along with treatment options, with your healthcare provider before making decisions about treatment methods for your knee pain. 

To be upfront, the risks involved with a rooster knee injection vary, some with serious side effects, as you’ll see in the list below:

  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Redness
  • Infection
  • No reduction or change in symptoms
  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Allergic reactions (poultry allergies and/or a severe reaction)
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Do discuss these side effects with your doctor if you’re at all unsure, and make the decision together on whether to have the injection or not based on your current situation. 

A sportswoman holding her knee.

Alternative Options

Alternative treatment plans for rooster comb injections may include the following:

  • Stem cell injections
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Total knee replacement
  • Other forms of knee surgery
  • Pain-reducing medications
  • Massage 
  • Physical therapy
  • Alternative knee injections

Are rooster comb injections right for you?

Your healthcare provider will likely evaluate your knee and provide information on all available options to you, so you can make an informed choice regarding the treatment choices.

Hyaluronic acid injections are a plausible and less severe alternative to a knee joint replacement in the case of knee osteoarthritis, offering significant improvements in most circumstances. 

Rooster comb injections are certainly an option, and they could offer relief from pain if you suffer from knee osteoarthritis; however, they’re not the only option.

Plus, any injection of a substance offers risks as well as beneficial effects, so it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if this course of action is right for you. My advice is to speak with your doctor and let them offer their guidance to help you make the right choice. 

For more interesting reads on knee health, click here.

Disclaimer: Note that all thoughts are my own in this post and are provided as an educational resource only. I do not supply or offer medical advice of any sort.