What is Viscosupplementation?
Hyalurons are naturally occurring molecules in the fluid of your joints that naturally lubricate the movement of bone. Viscosupplementation refers to the injection of a hyaluronan preparation into the joint to assist in improving joint lubrication and smooth movement when the joint surface are no longer smooth due to injury or degeneration.
Indications of Viscosupplementation
Viscosupplementation can be indicated in the management of shoulder, knee, hip or ankle osteoarthritis that has not responded to non-surgical treatment options such as pain medications, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. Hyalurons such as Synvisc and Durolane have been proven to delay or avoid the need for major joint surgery.
Hyalurons are usually combined with an anaesthetic and injected directly into the joint to replenish the diminished synovial fluid, thereby enhancing its lubricating properties. Some joints do not require ultrasound guidance but, if they do, we have medicare licensed ultrasound machines at both of our Perth Sports Medicine locations.
How does Viscosupplementation Work?
Synvisc and Durolane injections not only supplement the hyaluronan in the joint but also stimulates the natural production of hyaluronan in the treated knee. This provides gradual symptomatic relief over the course of the injection that can last for several months or up to a year.
Post-procedural Care Following Viscosupplementation
Your doctor will discuss this will you at length. Ice packs and an analgesic may be used, if required, to ease the discomfort. Any strenuous activity such as jogging or tennis should be completely avoided for 48 hours to a week after the injection and should be resumed only after consultation with your doctor.
Risks of Viscosupplementation
You may experience mild pain, swelling, warmth and redness at the injection site for up to 48 hours following an injection. Headache and joint stiffness may also occur in some cases. Immediately consult your doctor if you develop fever or the pain and swelling fail to resolve after 48 hours following the injection.
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