What Is Viscosupplementation Treatment?
December 13, 2021
Viscosupplementation is a common form of treatment for arthritis and joint pain that involves injecting small amounts of hyaluronic acid into a joint. When performed correctly, viscosupplementation can help reduce the pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis, allowing you to move freely with a full range of motion.
In this informative post, learn more about Viscosupplementation treatment and how it works, and find out if it’s a viable treatment for your joint pain.
Viscosupplementation Treatment in Austin: What Is It?
In osteology (the study of bones), joints are defined as the point where two bones intersect. Synovial joints—the most common kind of joint—have a fluid-filled space between them with cartilage (flexible connective tissue) capped on each end. Just like how motor oil keeps the parts of your engine running smoothly, it’s your cartilage (and the synovial fluid in them) that allows your bones (and you) to move freely, with minimal wear and tear.
Unfortunately, for those who experience Osteoarthritis—the highest occurring joint disorder in the United States—healthy cartilage in their synovial joints is in short supply. Indeed, when joints become arthritic, their cartilage becomes damaged, closing the gap between the joint. When this happens, friction between the bones increases, resulting in pain and a decreased range of motion of the joint.
Viscosupplementation is a common form of treatment for arthritis and joint pain that involves injecting small amounts of hyaluronic acid into the area. Hyaluronic acid is an elastic jelly-like substance that is produced by the joint, a key component of the “synovial fluid” that lubricates the cartilage surface. Following a viscosupplementation treatment, the viscous and elastic qualities of hyaluronic acid will aid in lubricating the joint, increasing the space between the bones. This makes the joint less vulnerable to friction and compression, and reduces the pain and swelling that’s often caused by it.
How to Tell If Viscosupplementation Injections Are Right for You
Viscosupplementation treatment is a viable option for those who experience joint pain, swelling, or stiffness (or a ‘sensation’ of instability of a joint). In these instances, viscosupplementation treatment can significantly reduce pain while improving the mobility of the joint. This can make it easier to move freely, without pain or discomfort, and to perform common activities with a full range of motion.
Viscosupplementation is also often recommended for patients who have tried other treatments for managing their arthritis—such as over-the-counter medicines or corticosteroid injections—without success. If you have moderate or mild arthritis and would prefer a non-surgical treatment option to manage your arthritis pain, Viscosupplementation injections may be a good choice.
Talk to your local pain doctor for a specific treatment recommendation and to find out if Viscosupplementation treatment is right for you.
Viscosupplementation Treatment in Austin: What to Expect
Viscosupplementation is a relatively quick procedure that typically includes the following steps:
- Your healthcare provider will clean the area you intend to have your injection.
- They’ll provide a local anesthetic to the area (often around the joint), so you won’t feel any pain during treatment.
- From there, they will inject a small amount of hyaluronic acid into the joint space.
- Finally, they will apply a small bandage to the injection site.
You can talk to your local viscosupplementation provider for more information about what to expect and exact steps. Depending on the type of product used, you might need additional shots, spread out over the following weeks.
Following the procedure, you may experience any of the following side effects of viscosupplementation, including: slight pain, warmth, or swelling—which can be expected. However, if you spot any redness, or experience high pain or a high fever, contact your healthcare provider immediately. When in doubt, follow your healthcare providers’ instructions for post-procedural care and make sure you attend all your follow-up appointments.
Get Viscosupplementation in Austin Today
At Greater Austin Pain Center, our expert physicians are eager to help you find a solution to manage your pain. Viscosupplementation injections serve as a minimally invasive treatment option for many patients who experience joint pain related to osteoarthritis. To learn more about viscosupplementation and to find out if you are a candidate for treatment, contact us today.
Not sure if Viscosupplementation is right for you?
During your first appointment, we’ll take the time to review your medical history and learn about your treatment history and recommend a custom treatment option for you.