OEBB

What is viscosupplementation?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance present in the synovial fluid of your joints. In your knees, synovial fluid, a thick gel-like liquid, helps cushion your joint and absorb the shock of walking, running, twisting, and turning. Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee have lower levels of hyaluronic acid in their synovial fluid. Therefore, their joints less able to “cushion” protect the bones and cartilage from damage and destruction. Viscosupplementation, a relatively new but increasingly popular treatment for OA of the knee, injects hyaluronic acid (also called hyaluron and hyaluronate) into the affected knee in order to hopefully return some mobility to the affected joint.

Hyaluronan is a substance that doctors inject directly into your knee joint, where it may help supplement the knee joint's natural synovial fluid, relieving pain and improving your ability to use the knee. This treatment is also called viscosupplementation. After an injection, some people may experience pain or swelling.

Resources

Please visit these resources for more information:

Viscosupplementation for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Center for Evidence-based Policy. March 17, 2010. Oregon Health Sciences University

Osteoarthritis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayo Clinic

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