- Osteoarthritis of the joints is common.
- This can give rise to symptoms of pain, swelling and reduced range of movement.
- Patients' symptoms can range from mild to severe.
- One of the non-surgical options for treating this is known generally as Viscosupplementation injections.
- This involves injecting a gel-like fluid known as Hyaluronic Acid (HA) into the affected joint.
- The goal of this treatment is to reduce pain, inflammation and restore function of the affected joint.
- HA is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial fluid of joints.
- It behaves as a lubricant to allow bones to articulate smoothly over each other and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.
- It is also a shock absorber for joints during loading and weight bearing.
- People with OA have lower than normal concentrations of HA in their affected joints.
- There are several commercial HA preparations available.
- Most doctors will choose to use the preparation that they are most familiar with.
- It is worth noting that viscosupplementation injections can also be used in other musculoskeletal conditions (e.g. tenosynovitis, bursitis)- its use is not just limited to OA.