We bend our knees a million times in a year. The lubricating fluid, called synovial fluid, helps this process acting like a lubricant and shock absorber to protect your knee. To understand viscosupplemention and its benefits, let’s take a look at the normal knee and osteoarthritis (OA).
Viscosupplementation is an option of treatment for those with moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Through a series of injections, supplemental HA can be added to the knee joint. (Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance natural in the body and is present not only in the synovial fluid but also in the eyeballs, skin and cartilage. When isolated, it is a thick, viscous solution. Viscosupplements, which are designed to replace synovial fluid of osteoarthritic knee with a more normal prosthetic synovial fluid, use purified HA derived from either rooster combs or genetically engineered cells to add to the natural HA in the knee joint. It is believed that by replacing the synovial fluid of osteoarthritic kne with a product made of HA that is closer to normal synovial fluid, the patient experiences pain relief due to the presence of a new “lubricant” in the knee that is also acting as a shock absorber. The result is increased protection of the knee joint itself and a soothing of the nerve endings exposed by the degraded cartilage of the osteoarthritic knee.
Viscosupplementation is given to people with knee osteoarthritis who have not responded to traditional therapies, such as oral anti-inflammatory or analgesic medications or exercise. It is also can be considered for those who are trying to delay or simply are not candidates for total knee replacement surgery. Viscosupplementation therapy is only available through injection into the knee. The injection is given directly into the knee from a point on the side and under the kneecap under aseptic precautions.