What is Viscosupplementation?


Note from the Doctor

Viscosupplementation is a procedure that involves injecting the knee joint with a substance that is very similar to the body’s natural joint fluid (synovial fluid). Our providers at AZPTC are confident in the results this procedure yields.

Viscosupplementation is used often in osteoarthrosis or degenerative arthritis of the knee, when the normal synovial or joint fluid becomes less functional (it loses its lubricating properties). Injecting the knee with a viscosupplement agent, such as Hyalgan or Synvisc, can be a very effective medical tool to help restore normal biomechanical function and viscous/elastic properties, which help the joint act more biomechanically efficient.

Viscosupplementation can also diminish pain, since a dry joint will often create pain due to the friction that occurs when there is less lubrication in the joint. Medical research indicates that viscosupplementation preparations also act as an anti-inflammatory, reducing various chemical breakdowns that occur in the cartilaginous region of the joint.

With degenerative arthritis or osteoarthrosis, there is a breakdown of joint cartilage along with a loss of the lubricating capability of the joint. As the cartilage wears down there is more friction as the bones begin to wear against each other. The synovial fluid is rich in a substance known as hyaluronic acid and this is the foundation of viscosupplementation.

The keys to our knee pain relief success at AZPTC include the use of a safe and all-natural *joint lubricant, often referred to as *Hyalgan®, *Synvisc-One® and *Orthovisc®. The process of injecting the lubricant is called a viscosupplementation and it acts as a shock absorber or “joint oil”. The natural substance is a hyaluronic acid which contains one of the natural building blocks of the synovial fluid that lubricates your knee.

This treatment is very effective for sports injuries and for athletes that love to run, bike, hike or participate in any sports that puts stress on the knees. It is also a great alternative to for people who are suffering from arthritis and would like to avoid knee replacement surgery. The viscosupplementation is covered by most insurances!

Viscosupplementation will help diminish inflammation to an extent, as well as improve the lubricating capabilities of the joints.

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