• Bernard P. Kemker, MD

How can Viscosupplementation Help with Your Knee Pain?

What is Viscosupplementation?

Viscosupplementation is a gel-like substance that is injected into the knee joint, which acts like a lubricant to your joints and decreases your joint pain and increases the function of your joint. Generally, these viscosupplementation are made of exogenous hyaluronic acid into diarthrodial joints, with the aim of restoring the rheological properties of the synovial fluid, thereby producing mechanical, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and chondroprotective effects.

Viscosupplementation | Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

As we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid starts to decrease and that is when the viscosupplementation comes in handy, filling the joints again with sufficient lubricant, helping the joints and acts as shock absorbent, reduces joint friction, and slows the progression of osteoarthritis.


How it works?

Viscosupplementation are usually injected directly into the knee joint. These procedures are done under live ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance to precisely place the gel-like fluid around the joint.


Your healthcare provider may first inject a numbing medicine into the space around your knee joint and possibly drain any fluid that is causing the joint to swell and then the hyaluronic acid is injected.


Viscosupplementation starts to act more slowly than corticosteroid injections, but their effects are long-lasting, reaching up to 8 months to 1 year for some people.


There are many brands of viscosupplementation and each one is administered in a different manner. For example, Euflexxa and Gelsyn type are given once a week as a series of 3 injections.


Benefits

  • They can replenish what is lacking in the joint’s synovial fluid

  • It increases lubrication to the joint

  • It can significantly reduce swelling and ease pain

  • It is much easier to walk, sit, and perform everyday tasks

  • It can delay or sometimes prevent the need for a joint replacement surgery

  • Researchers believe this could also promote the natural production of hyaluronic acid within the joint

Takeaway

As we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid presents in the joint starts to decrease and people with osteoarthritis will have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints. If you are considering a non-surgical treatment option to relieve knee pain and corticosteroids are not very effective for you, then scheduling for viscosupplementation is the best choice that may prove to be very effective and they last for a long period of time.


Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics provides the most effective, modern, and innovative techniques in both Orthopedic Surgery and Pain Management using proven methodologies in both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of all conditions affecting the spine, upper extremities, and lower extremities. We specialize in hand and wrist surgery, joint replacements, sports medicine, trauma care, pediatric orthopedics, pain management, wound care, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, imaging services, and EMG testing.

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