Viscosupplementation refers to the injection of a hyaluronic acid preparation into the joint. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance present in the joint fluid that assists in lubrication. It allows smooth movement of the cartilage covered articulating surfaces of the joint.
Viscosupplementation is indicated in the management of knee osteoarthritis that has not responded to non-surgical treatment options such as pain medications, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections.
Viscosupplementation provides symptomatic relief and may delay the need for surgery. It is injected directly into the joint to supplement the synovial fluid, thereby enhancing its lubricating properties. A single dose or a total of three separate doses of viscosupplementation, over three weeks, may be recommended for optimum benefit.
Some patients may experience mild pain, swelling, warmth and redness at the injection site for up to 48 hours following a viscosupplementation injection.
Headache and joint stiffness may also occur in some cases. Ice packs and an analgesic may be used, if required, to ease the discomfort. Any strenuous activity such as jogging or tennis should be completely avoided for 48 hours to a week after the injection and should be resumed only after recommended by Dr. Fischer or his team.
Viscosupplementation injection not only supplements the hyaluronan in the joint but also stimulates the production of hyaluronan in the treated knee. This provides gradual symptomatic relief over the course of the injections. This effect may last for several months.
Please note: Immediately consult Dr. Fischer if you develop fever or the pain and swelling fail to resolve after 48 hours following the injection.