During Viscosupplementation treatment, hyaluronic acid is injected into the joint to facilitate smooth movement of bones and to act as a shock absorber. Hyaluronic acid is a safe, natural substance. People who suffer from osteoarthritis have lower levels of hyaluronic acid around their joints, and injections of the fluid offer a nonsurgical treatment for the pain caused by arthritis.
For accurate placement of the hyaluronate, the procedure is administered using fluoroscopic imaging, allowing the provider to see the exact point where the injected material is administered.
When combined with specialized physical therapy, Viscosupplementation provides safe, painless, and proven effective treatment for resolving chronic joint pain.
Viscosupplementation is a medical procedure during which lubricating fluid is injected into a joint. Also called hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan; viscosupplementation is most commonly used to treat symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
Hyaluronic acid is a vital component of the joint fluid in healthy joints but is believed to be found in lower concentrations in osteoarthritic joints.
By adding hyaluronic acid to the existing joint fluid of an osteoarthritic knee, the goal is to:
Facilitate better knee movement
Slow progression of naturally occurring degenerative changes
Typical candidates for viscosupplementation are people with knee osteoarthritis who have failed to improve their pain with other non-surgical treatments including NSAIDs and steroids.
Depending on the product used, you will receive four to five shots over several weeks.
During the procedure, if there is any swelling in your knee, your doctor will remove (aspirate) the excess fluids before injecting the hyaluronic acid. Usually, the aspiration and the injection are done using only one needle. This needle is guided into the joint space using x-ray imaging eliminating the standard “blind stick”.
For the first 24 hours after the shot, you should avoid excessive weight bearing on the leg, such as standing for long periods, jogging or heavy lifting.
You may notice a local reaction, such as pain, warmth, and slight swelling immediately after the shot. These symptoms generally do not last long. You may want to apply an ice pack to help ease them.
Rarely, patients may develop a local allergy-like reaction in the knee. In these cases, the knee may become full of fluid, red, warm, and painful. If this occurs, contact your doctor immediately.
Potential but less common complications include Infection and bleeding.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (502) 771-1012.