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Off-Label Use of Sculptra and Radiesse for Treatment of Sagging Knees

It’s no longer just our faces that are a telltale sign of aging, it now includes our necks, our hands, and even our KNEES! That’s right, the knees are prone to early signs of aging due to the extra skin above the knees that allows us to bend them. That paired with the frequent movement our knees go through and the natural decline in collagen can all contribute to the laxity in skin on our knees. That doesn’t even factor in genetics, weight gain/loss and other contributing factors. That being said, knee rejuvenation is becoming a more popular requested treatment.

There are several therapies and treatments that can be used to treat the sagging of skin on our knees, but we wanted to address two critical injectables that can be used: Radiesse and Sculptra. We’ve discussed both of these injectables extensively and how they can be used to treat other parts of the body, not just the face. So today, we’ll focus on the knees.

Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite) and Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, or PLLA) are considered biostimulators because they trigger our bodies to produce collagen. Radiesse is a noticeably thicker dermal filler, more like a paste, that provides an immediate extra lift in addition to long-term plumping due to the collagen production. Sculptra is a more liquid-like product that is absorbed by the body and effects are not quite as noticeable right away. The collagen boost can take up to six weeks to take effect and for results to be noticeable. But both products are great treatments for the knees because of their boost in collagen production. 

Many medical professionals and injectors like to hyper-dilute Radiesse by adding saline or lidocaine so that they enhance the product’s spreadability and simulate more types of collagen production. Sculptra must be diluted prior to use. Typically multiple treatments are required to get desired results. Expectations should definitely be discussed with your patients as well. 

Not every patient is a candidate for Sculptra or Radiesse. But there are other treatments that can be used for sagging knees such as Ultrasound therapy, Radiofrequency, Microneedling or even surgery. It’s important to discuss with your patients what they are wanting and expecting before choosing a treatment path. 

We must also note that this is an off-label use of these injectables, meaning it is not FDA approved to use them on the knees, arms, buttox, etc. but is still common and safe when done by a medical professional.