Viscosupplementation is a medical procedure during which lubricating fluid is injected into the knee. It is also referred to as hyaluronic acid injections. 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
During viscosupplementation a small amount of hyaluronic acid is injected directly into a joint capsule. Hyaluronic acid is a key component of joint fluid that gives it a viscous, slippery quality enabling the bones’ cartilage-covered surfaces to glide against each other, reducing joint friction. Hyaluronic acid also adds cushion to protect joints during impact.
Viscosupplementation artificially supplements the joints fluid’s natural viscosity. By injecting a man-made hyaluronan into the knee, it can temporarily lubricate the knee joint, thereby decreasing pain, improving function and perhaps even slowing the degeneration process.