Viscosupplementation involves injection of hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the synovial fluid of the joints, into joints that are causing arthritis pain. Usually, viscosupplementation is done in the knees, but the treatment can be applied for other joints as well. If you have mild to moderate arthritis pain that has not responded to other nonsurgical methods, your doctor may recommend viscosupplementation.
Main Line Health offers experienced orthopaedic specialists with expertise in a wide-range of nonsurgical and advanced surgical approaches to help patients find relief from pain. If you have mild to moderate arthritis pain, your doctor may recommend viscosupplementation as a nonsurgical option to treat your condition.
Treatment and recovery from viscosupplementation
The idea behind viscosupplementation is to lubricate the cartilage that protects bones and keeps them from rubbing against each other. In people with osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid levels tend to be lower so this form of “supplementation” is to return those levels to normal and help the cartilage do its job better. The injections can also help the body to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid.
Like other types of injection therapies, you may need to have multiple rounds of injections to experience the benefit of reduced inflammation and pain. Some people experience no relief from symptoms while others feel relief that lasts for several months. When viscosupplementation is effective, it helps the body repair itself more quickly and allows you to heal with less pain.