Viscosupplementation is an injection of a fluid called hyaluronic acid into the knee joint.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the injection site

    • Signs of allergic reaction (eg,
      , itching, difficulty breathing)
    • Increased pain or swelling in the knee joint

  • Definition

    Viscosupplementation is an injection of a fluid called hyaluronic acid into the knee joint.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This injection is used to treat the symptoms of

    Joints Affected by Osteoarthritis
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    Healthy joints contain synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates and provides nutrients to the joints. One change that happens with OA is the synovial fluid becomes thinner and less useful as a lubricant for the joint.

    With viscosupplementation, hyaluronic acid, which is found in synovial fluid, is injected into the knee joint. This makes the synovial fluid act as a better lubricant. It is hoped that this will reduce pain and improve function of the joint. In some cases, getting this injection may help to postpone surgery on the knee joint.

    Viscosupplementation may be a good option if you have tried other types of treatment (eg, medicines, physical therapy) and these have failed.

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare. But, no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have viscosupplementation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Pain and swelling
    • Infection at the injection site
    • Bleeding
    • Allergic reaction to the hyaluronic acid or local anesthetic product
    • Gout
    • Inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis)

    These factors reduce the chance that viscosupplementation will be effective for you:

    • Having advanced OA
    • Being 65 years or older

    Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.