What is it?
Viscosupplementation is a treatment option for osteoarthritis of the knee. Hyaluronic acid is a substance present in the synovial (joint) fluid of the knee; this fluid acts as a shock absorber and allows the bones in the knee to glide over each other smoothly. In osteoarthritis, there is a decrease in hyaluronic acid; this causes the synovial (joint) fluid to be thinner, leading to a painful rubbing of the bones and cartilage in the knee. Viscosupplementation is an injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint in order to improve the damaged synovial fluid. Depending on the physician’s preference, it may be one injection, a series of three injections, or a series of five injections.
What are the expected results?
You may be sore for a day or so. Over the next few weeks, you should notice pain relief. Pain relief typically lasts up to six months.
How long will it take?
The procedure itself only takes 5-10 minutes to perform. You may be observed for 20 minutes after the procedure.
What happens after the procedure?
Most often you can go home in about 20 minutes. You should avoid overuse of the joint for 48 hours after the injection.
What to expect the day of your procedure?
This procedure is typically performed in the office. After you have been checked in and taken back to an exam room, an assistant will take your blood pressure, oxygen saturation and heart rate. The assistant will ask you some questions and have you sign your consent forms. It is imperative that you, the patient, inform the assistant of any changes in your history and/or physical, such as recent flu or any health problems that might affect your procedure. Inform the staff of any allergies, especially to Betadine or Iodine.
If necessary, you may be asked to change into a gown. The provider will talk to you before your procedure. You will then be positioned and the injection site will be cleaned. The provider will perform the injection. Afterward, the cleaning solution will be washed off and bandages will be applied as needed.
You will be monitored for 20 minutes after the injection. You will be given discharge instructions.