Our bodies naturally produce Hyaluronic acid, a dense fluid that lubricates our joints and protects cartilage and bones. Arthritic joints typically suffer from both limited quantity or poor quality fluid.  Viscosupplementation is the injection of Hyaluronic Acid (synthetically derived from chicken comb) into the joint to provide cushioning, and lubrication and thus enables more natural and less painful mobility. Many different products may be employed, but they all function the same way, ultimately protecting the joint and alleviating pain. The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a national organization comprised of physicians from various fields of medicine including primary care physicians, PM&R doctors, orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, and pain management doctors. A comprehensive review of all peer-reviewed scientific literature to date conducted by the AMSSM led to the recommendation by the AMSSM for the use of viscosupplementation on appropriate patients with knee osteoarthritis.1  

What to expect:

  • Insurance approval is required prior to the procedure
  • Insurance dictates the specific brand that is approved
  • Depending on the brand, there may be one or several injections needed
  • Ultrasound-guided injection of viscosupplementation
  • No sedation is required, as local anesthetic is sufficient
  • Delayed onset but a prolonged duration of benefit compared to steroids
  • Minimal downtime post injection
  • Contraindicated to those with egg or chicken allergy

1AMSSM Scientific Statement Concerning Viscosupplementation Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis: Importance for Individual Patient Outcomes. Br J Sports Med. 2016 Jan; 50(2):84-92.

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