If you’re living with osteoarthritis or joint pain, it’s likely you’ve been confronted with many different treatment options. It can help to know exactly what each treatment involves before making a decision, so in this post, we explain what happens during and after viscosupplementation.

Viscosupplements are formulas made with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the joint that absorbs shocks and lubricates your joints. People with osteoarthritis, or certain kinds of injuries, have low hyaluronic acid levels in their joints. Viscosupplements work by supplementing this essential hyaluronic acid.

Viscosupplementation is a simple outpatient procedure, which can provide up to six months of pain relief. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll be able to go home straightaway.

The doctor will start by cleaning the affected joint with an alcohol or iodine solution. They’ll then apply a local anaesthetic to numb the area. You may understandably be feeling a bit tense, so the doctor will ask you to relax your muscles. This can help make the injection less uncomfortable and ensure accuracy.

If the joint is swollen, the doctor will draw out any excess fluid with a needle and syringe.

Then, to ensure they administer the treatment in exactly the right spot, they’ll use a hand-held ultrasound device, which projects an image of the joint onscreen.

Using a new syringe, your doctor will inject a small amount of Synvisc / Synvisc-One (hyaluronic acid solution) directly into the joint. Once the injection area is cleaned and bandaged, you’ll be asked to gently move joint to help spread the solution around the area. It’s as simple as that.

One of the big advantages of viscosupplementation is that you can usually resume your normal day-to-day activities within 48 hours, although it’s best to avoid activities that put excessive strain on your joint during this time, such as jogging, lifting or prolonged standing. If you have any mild pain or swelling at the injection site, place an ice pack on your knee for 15-20 minutes, or as recommended by your doctor.

We have more information about viscosupplements or you can call the team on 020 7118 1771 and they’ll be happy to answer your questions.