Viscosupplementation is just like cortisones, and this is because there are all used in joints. However, each of them serves a different purpose to the joint. But the end project is to make the joint, be it a shoulder, wrist or knee to become pain-free and functions normally as it should.
What is viscosupplementation?
Viscosupplementation is simply a procedure that involves injecting hyaluronic acid (a gel-like fluid) directly into the joint. What is hyaluronic acid you would want to ask? Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the synovial fluid which surrounds the joints and its work is to reduce friction during movement. The Viscosupplementation injection goes into effect by lubricating this joint and assisting the synovial fluid to create more cushions. This works to reduce pain and improve the mobility of the joint or the range of motion to make activities of daily living and even strenuous or athletic exercise less painful.
How Does Viscosupplementation Work?
People with a joint issue, e.g., those with Osteoarthritis in the knee, have lower levels of hyaluronic acid in their synovial fluid. This fluid that remains in the joint is often less effective than the fluid in healthy joints. This means it is not able to protect the bone and cartilage from grinding and damage as well as it once could. So when the doctor or physician injects viscosupplementation, he literally injected hyaluronic acid (which is also known as hyaluronate or hyaluron) into the knee joint’s synovial fluid. The hyaluronic acid then fills the joint area and increases lubrication in the joint, thus making movement much easier. When cartilage is severely damaged, the bones will start rubbing against each other thereby making it impossible to walk. The inability to walk without pain can make daily living difficult for the patient and it is worse when he/she cannot afford to use surgical procedures. Study shows that Injections of hyaluronic acid act more slowly than cortisone injections but their effect is longer-lasting.
Benefit of viscosupplementation
Viscosupplementation is not a cure for joint problem; however, the benefit of it
cannot be taken for granted and they are;
- Making it easier for you to walk, recline and sit
- Improving your daily lifestyle
- Reducing swelling and discomfort in an affected joint
- Keeping joints alive
Before deciding to use viscosupplementation for any joint, it is advisable to try other treatments such as physical therapy, pain medication, or weight loss. If after trial and these treatments are not effective, it is then time to consider viscosupplementation injections into the damaged joint such as the knee. In conclusion, viscosupplementation has proven to be a good way to lubricate the joints, especially the knee. The fluid from it makes the knee move freely again. The only downside is that it is not a permanent cure for joint problems. So from time to time, patients under viscosupplementation have to undergo another every 8 months to a 1 year period.
“BEST MEDICAL PRACTICE”
Best medical practice I have in my entire life received the best treatment for multiple injuries I received causing pain and he has also provided the best treatment to my son as well. Dr. Raval takes his time always returns my calls and has treated my son and I as his own family. The staff are all amazing and professional. I would give them more than a 5 Star. So grateful they exist.
Dr. Raval was extremely professional, thorough, and kind. He explained everything he was doing as he did it and really helped to put my mind at ease. He also recommended a physical therapist for further treatment. Great doctor, great visit. Highly recommended.
The award winning staff at Downtown Pain Physicians offers viscosupplementation Injection treatments to help you relieve knee, shoulder, and joint pain.
Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.
- Board Certified
- Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
Education & training
- SUNY Downstate PMR Residency
- Rutgers University Fellowship