Viscosupplementation is a procedure in which a thick fluid called Hyaluronate is injected into the knee joint and most frequently used to remedy symptoms of knee pain and osteoarthritis. Hyaluronate helps to cushion the joint and provides lubrication to reduce friction which occurs with movement of the joint. In a joint affected by osteoarthritis, there is deterioration of cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of the bones in a joint. Hyaluronate injections are considered a treatment; they are not classified as drugs. This method of treatment is non-surgical and conveniently treats joint damage quickly and easily during an office visit. Viscosupplementation has been studied as a treatment option for osteoarthritis since the 1970s and was approved by the FDA in 1997. Hyaluronate will improve the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, reduce the pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, improve mobility, and provide a higher and more comfortable level of activity. Most importantly, you’ll avoid the expense, recovery, and downtime of invasive surgery or extended use of prescription medications.
Viscosupplementation treatments are designed for patients who have failed to respond to conservative treatment options (e.g., physical therapy and exercise, hot or cold applications, weight loss, use of a cane or knee support, pain relievers, or intra-articular steroid injection). Your specific health issue and degree of pain will determine your course of treatment and the number of required injections.
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