What is Viscosupplementation?
This is an injection treatment using an agent called hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a normal part of the fluid that lubricates joints. The injection is like a thick gel of concentrated hyaluronic acid that boosts and supports the natural joint lubricants, resulting in pain relief.
How does it work?
Patients will receive an injection into the affected joint under Ultrasound guidance. This can be done as an outpatient and only takes a few minutes. You are ready to go home shortly after the injection. The effect can last for about 6 months and the injection can then be repeated. Viscosupplementation with hyaluronic acid doesn’t heal arthritis and doesn’t have a regenerative effect on joint cartilage. The treatment is therefore more likely to be beneficial in patients with more mild or mild to moderate arthritis.
What are the indications?
Viscosupplementation can work well for patients with joint pain as a result of mild or mild to moderate arthritis.
Are there any risks?
Infection and allergic reactions are rare complications.
How well does it work?
Treatment with HA has a well-documented track record with a good, but not perfect success rate. Most patients notice an improvement in their symptoms within the first 2 weeks following the injection. The effect can last for several months. The treatment can be repeated safely if the response to the initial injection has been good.
How many injections do I need?
For most patients and conditions, a single injection with a long-lasting preparation of HA will suffice. If the effect wears off, the injection can be repeated. Some patients with more severe symptoms may benefit from a series of 2-3 injections within 3-4 weeks.
Any special post-procedure care?
There may be mild pain for a day or two. Icepacks and simple painkillers will keep you comfortable. You can then mobilise without further restrictions. You can continue with Physiotherapy one week following the injection.