With osteoarthritis of the knee, the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. Adding to the problem, the synovial fluid in osteoarthritic knees loses its ability to lubricate the joint. This combination causes pain and stiffness, limitation of joint motion, and some inflammation in your knees.
Viscosupplementation is a procedure in which a thick fluid called hyaluronate acid is injected into the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid mimics healthy, young synovial fluid in terms of molecular weight, elasticity, and viscosity. The injection helps lubricate the joint.
Viscosupplementation will not cure osteoarthritis of the knee. However, this therapy aims to reduce knee pain, improve mobility, and provide a higher and more comfortable level of activity.
Viscosupplementation is usually not considered until other treatment options have been tried and have not relieved your pain. Three to five injections, each 1 week apart, are typically required.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of viscosupplementation, precise injection is required under fluoroscopic guidance.
You should be able to go home shortly after your procedure. For about 48 hours, you should avoid standing for long periods, excessive walking, jogging, or lifting heavy weights.
Make sure to keep all of your future appointments. The procedure may not work effectively if you do not receive the full series of injections.