Viscosupplementation Treatment of Knee Arthritis

Viscosupplementation Treatment of Knee Arthritis

Viscosupplementation is a medical procedure used to inject lubricating fluid into a joint in the body. Also known as hyaluronic or hyaluronic acid injections, the viscosupplementation procedure is most often used to relieve pain, discomfort, and other symptoms associated with arthritis in the knee.

When is Viscosupplementation used?

Viscosupplementation, or hyaluronic acid injection, is recommended to treat symptoms caused by osteoarthritis of the knee, and specifically for those who have already received treatment, including pain medication and therapy that did not provide sustained relief of pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
Hyaluronic acid mimics the knee’s natural joint fluid and provides a slippery, viscous surface that reduces joint friction and allows the bones to glide against and over each other and protects the joints by cushioning them during weight-bearing activities.
The goals of a viscosupplementation injection is to:

  • Improve knee movement
  • Alleviate pain
  • Slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

How is Viscosupplementation administered?

Viscosupplementation injections are only administered by a trained healthcare professional and are available in both solution-base and gel-based applications.  During the injection, a small amount (2 mL) of hyaluronic acid is administered directly into the affected joint.

Following the injection, your doctor will recommend that you participate in regular exercise, including progressive knee exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the knee.

What are the risks associated with Viscosupplementation?

Along with providing increased lubrication and relief of symptoms, viscosupplementation has been associated with a few unwanted side effects.  Following viscosupplementation with hyaluronic acid injections, it is common to experience difficulty moving the knee, pain and stiffness in the muscles surrounding the knee, and pain in the joints of the knee; some patients also report experiencing swelling and redness in and around the knee after injection.

How effective is Viscosupplementation?

Viscosupplementation treatment of knee arthritis has proven to be very effective in reducing pain and other symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.  When treatment is successful, patients have reported symptom relief lasting between three months and one year; the greatest period of relief is typically reported to be one to 3 months after injection.


Dr.Raju Mantena
Dr. Raju Mantena is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist based in the Houston area and has over 15 years of medical experience which he relies upon each day to successfully treat his patients’ acute and chronic pain.

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