Viscosupplementation- Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Treatment

Know what is Viscosupplementation injection for knee joint pain relief, is viscosupplementation effective, its side effects & costs, when is it recommended etc. Get clue about whether your joint pain can be treated with Viscosupplementation!

Viscosupplementation for Joint Pain

For the patients of osteoarthritis who suffer from knee joint pain but do not want to go for knee replacement surgery, there is an alternative knee treatment known as Viscosupplementation.
What Is Viscosupplementation?
There are many causes for painful joints. Poor lubrication due to low hyaluronic acid (HA) levels is one of such causes for osteoarthritis knee pain. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a chemical produced by our body. With low levels of this acid, there is an increase in the levels of inflammatory substances called prostaglandins which further results in painful movements. Viscosupplomementation is a treatment which involves the injection of gel-like substances (hyaluronates) into the joints to supplement the viscous properties of synovial (lubricating) fluid. It reduces pain, swelling and inflammation of the knee joints. Viscosupplementation can also be achieved by taking oral supplements. However, injecting hyaluronic acid into the affected joint is the most prevalent treatment technique.

Viscosupplementation Video

See this viscosupplementation injection video which displays the technique of  injection with viscosupplementation for osteoarthritis of right elbow joint.

Viscosupplementation Injection Video

Is Viscosupplementation Effective for Knee Joint Pain?
Viscosupplementation injections have so far proved to increase synovial fluid levels of hyaluronic acid thereby improving its viscosity and freedom of joint movement. They have also been useful in reducing pain by decreasing levels of prostaglandins. However, not all patients of osteoarthritis benefit from viscosupplementation. Only those patients who have mild to moderate osteoarthritis have shown significant improvement in their pain condition. Those having advanced destructive osteoarthritis with chronic knee pain do not seem to have any beneficial effect from viscosupplement injections.
When is Viscosupplementation Recommended?
When the patients of osteoarthritis with mild to moderate knee joint pain do not get any relief from the following traditional treatments, they are recommended by the doctors to take viscosupplementation treatment.
  • Anti-analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Topical anti-inflammatory gels
  • Physio Therapy and exercises
  • Joint aspiration and intra-articular LA/steroid injection.

Once taken, the viscosupplementation injection is effective for 6-8 months.

What is the Cost for Viscosupplementation Injection?
In India, the cost of one time administration of Viscosupplementation Injection is about Rs. 15,000.
What are the Side Effects of Viscosupplementation?
Hyaluronic acid has approximately a 1% incidence of side effects per injection. The side effects of viscosupplement injections are generally mild. The most common side effects are local reactions at the knee joint such as swelling, pain, and increased warmth. This kind of reaction typically lasts for 1 to 2 days.
Viscosupplementation treatment is, till date, available for treating knee joint pains only. However, experiments are being conducted to see its effect on other joint pains like shoulder pain, hip pain etc. Watch the video on viscosupplementation treatments in India for more information on the subject.

You might also be interested in knowing Knee Pain Management. Read Osteoarthritis Overview and Knee Management Do’s and Don’ts

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