Viscosupplementation is a medical procedure during which lubricating fluid is injected into a joint. Also called hyaluronic acid injections or hyaluronan injections, viscosupplementation is most commonly used to treat symptoms of symptoms of knee osteoarthritis
Hyaluronic acid is a key component of the joint fluid in healthy joints, but is found in lower concentrations in osteoarthritic joints.
By adding hyaluronic acid to the existing joint fluid of an osteoarthritic knee, the goal is to:
- Facilitate better knee movement
- Reduce pain
- Perhaps slow osteoarthritis progression
Typical candidates for viscosupplementation are people with knee osteoarthritis who have failed to improve with other non-surgical treatments.
Following the injections, it is generally recommended that patients engage in a rehabilitation program that includes gentle, progressive knee exercise. The goals of rehabilitation are to improve range of motion and develop muscle strength to support the knee.