During viscosupplementation treatment for arthritis, your healthcare provider injects hyaluronic acid into your joint. This thick fluid may help reduce pain and swelling in your arthritic joint (most commonly, your knee).
The bones that make up your joints usually have a cap of cartilage on their ends. This cartilage helps make sure that your bones move smoothly against each other. This cartilage has a fluid coating that contains hyaluronic acid. This works like a lubricant and shock absorber in your joint.
In osteoarthritis (“wear-and-tear” arthritis), this cartilage cap breaks down. When this happens, the bones of your joint scrape together abnormally. People with osteoarthritis generally have less hyaluronic acid in their joints than they should. All of this causes symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling. The idea behind viscosupplementation is that replacing this hyaluronic acid may help reduce symptoms.
Your healthcare provider may first inject a numbing medicine into the space around your knee joint and possibly drain any fluid that is causing the joint to swell. Then, your healthcare provider will inject hyaluronic acid into the space inside your joint. You shouldn’t expect this to reduce your pain right away. After the full course of treatment, though, you may notice some pain relief.
Shift Imaging offers Cingal and Monovisc for the treatment of osteoarthritis. This supplement is not covered by the Alberta Health Care Plan, however, the injection and procedure are covered at no cost to you. Call today to inquire about pricing and availability. You will require a requisition from your family doctor, or an e-health provider, in order to book your appointment.