What is Viscosupplementation?

Viscosupplementation refers to the injection of a hyaluronan preparation into the joint. Hyaluronan is a natural substance present in the joint fluid that assists in lubrication. It allows the smooth movement of the cartilage-covered articulating surfaces of the joint.

Indications of Viscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation is indicated in the management of shoulder, knee, hip and ankle osteoarthritis that has not responded to non-surgical treatment options such as pain medications, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. It can provide symptomatic relief and may delay the need for surgery. 

Viscosupplementation Procedure

The hyaluranon preparation is injected directly into the joint to replenish the diminished synovial fluid, thereby enhancing its lubricating properties. A single dose or a total of three separate doses over several weeks may be required for optimum benefit. 

How does Viscosupplementation Work?

The injected preparation not only supplements the hyaluronan in the joint but also stimulates the production of new hyaluronan. You will experience gradual symptomatic relief over the course of the injections which can last for several months.

Post-procedural Care Following Viscosupplementation 

Ice packs and an analgesic may be used, if required, to ease any discomfort experienced after the injection. Any strenuous activity such as jogging or sports should be avoided for 48 to 72 hours after the injection. 

Risks and Complications of Viscosupplementation

You may experience mild pain, swelling, warmth, and redness at the injection site for up to 48 hours following the procedure. Headache and joint stiffness may also occur in some cases. 

Immediately consult your doctor if you develop fever, or the pain and swelling fail to resolve after 48 hours following the injection.  

  • The General Medical Council
  • The British Medical Association (BMA)
  • NHS website
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • British Orthopaedic Association
  • British Association for Surgery of the Knee
  • European Society for Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Top Doctors
  • Percival Pott Club
  • Magellan Orthopaedic Society