Injectable hyaluronic acid. This form of therapy, known as "visco-supplementation," involves the injection of hyaluronic acid into the joint once a week for 3 - 5 weeks, depending on the product brand.
- Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating substance that is found in the normal joint fluid. If, as in osteoarthritis of the knee, inflammation breaks down hyaluronic acid within the joint, then lubrication is lost.
- Hyaluronic acid injection does not cause the side effects of most oral pain relievers. Therefore it is suitable for people who still suffer discomfort after being treated by pain medication, exercise, or physical therapy.
- Hyaluronic acid injection may provide relief for up to 12 months, but there is no indication that the treatment alters the progression of arthritis.
- Ongoing studies are investigating whether this method is effective for the shoulders and hips, but, to date, there is little information on the long-term effects of hyaluronic acid injection.
- In general, the treatment is well tolerated, and allergic reactions are rare.
Review Date: 12/24/2012
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC,
also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC'saccreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorousstandards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information andservices. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorialpolicy, editorialprocess, and privacypolicy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch.)
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatmentof any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication ordistribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.