Viscosupplementation refers to the injection of a hyaluronan preparation into the joint. Hyaluronan is a natural substance present in the joint fluid that assists in lubrication. It allows smooth movement of the cartilage covered surfaces of the joint.
Synvisc is one of the most used hyaluronan preparations. It is 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.
Synvisc provides symptomatic relief and delays the need for surgery. It is injected directly into the joint to replenish the diminished synovial fluid, thereby enhancing its lubricating properties. Synvisc injection not only supplements the hyaluronan in the joint but also stimulates the production of hyaluronan in the treated knee. This provides gradual symptomatic relief over the course of the injections. This effect may last for several months.
A single dose or a total of three separate doses of Synvisc, over several weeks, may be required for optimum benefit.
Some patients may experience mild pain, swelling, warmth and redness at the injection site for up to 48 hours following a Synvisc injection. Headache and joint stiffness may also occur in some cases. Ice packs and an analgesic may be prescribed to ease the discomfort. Any strenuous activity such as running, 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. Consultation with a doctor is also recommended for fever or pain and swelling more than 48 hours after the injection.