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Viscosupplementation is a minimally invasive procedure to alleviate joint pain, particularly in patients with osteoarthritis. It involves injecting a gel-like substance, typically hyaluronic acid, into the affected joint to improve lubrication and reduce discomfort. Dr. Gelber offers viscosupplementation as a part of a holistic plan to alleviate joint pain and restore mobility.

What Is Viscosupplementation?

Viscosupplementation is a minimally invasive procedure for treating joint pain, most commonly associated with osteoarthritis. This technique involves injecting a thick, gel-like fluid, often hyaluronic acid, into the affected joint. Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of joint fluid, but its concentration can decrease in patients with osteoarthritis, resulting in friction and discomfort. By replenishing this substance, viscosupplementation enhances joint mobility, reduces pain, and delays the need for more invasive interventions.

Conditions That May Necessitate Viscosupplementation:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Limited mobility
  • Cartilage degeneration
  • Chronic joint discomfort

Signs Indicating You
May Need Viscosupplementation:

  • Persistent joint pain
  • Reduced joint flexibility
  • Difficulty with daily activities
  • Crepitus (joint cracking or popping)
  • Discomfort during movement
  • Joint swelling or inflammation
  • Unresolved pain despite conservative treatments
  • X-ray or MRI evidence of joint degeneration

How Viscosupplementation Works

Viscosupplementation works by addressing the altered rheological properties of synovial fluid within the affected joint, particularly in osteoarthritic patients. In osteoarthritis, the natural synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant and shock absorber in joints, often becomes less viscous and loses its ability to properly cushion and protect the joint. This change in synovial fluid composition contributes to pain and reduced joint function.

Viscosupplementation involves injecting hyaluronic acid directly into the joint space. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule found in synovial fluid and cartilage. It increases the viscosity and elasticity of the fluid, thereby enhancing its lubricating and shock-absorbing properties. By reintroducing hyaluronic acid, viscosupplementation reduces inflammation and restores joint fluid balance, thereby reducing friction and alleviating pain.

Benefits of Viscosupplementation:

  • Pain relief in osteoarthritis
  • Improved joint mobility and flexibility
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Low risk of adverse side effects
  • Quick and convenient outpatient treatment
  • Improved quality of life for those with chronic joint pain
  • Non-surgical option for pain management
  • Potential reduction in the use of pain medications

What Happens During The Treatment

Viscosupplementation is performed as a straightforward outpatient procedure. Dr. Gelber will clean and sterilize the injection site, typically your knee, hip, or other affected joint. Using a fine needle, he will carefully inject a hyaluronic acid solution into the affected joint space. The entire process takes just a few minutes and is relatively painless. You might feel some pressure or mild discomfort, but it’s generally well-tolerated. After the injection, you can resume daily activities with minimal downtime.

The Recovery
Process After Viscosupplementation

After viscosupplementation, you may experience mild side effects like swelling or pain at the injection site. These effects usually subside within a few days. It’s advisable to avoid strenuous activities for a short period and apply ice to alleviate any discomfort. Rest and gentle movements are encouraged to promote joint function. Most people can resume all normal activities within a day or two. If the side effects persist or worsen, please consult Dr. Gelber.

Viscosupplementation Aftercare Guidelines:

  • Apply ice to the injection site if needed
  • Avoid strenuous activities for two days
  • Engage in gentle, non-impact exercises
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed
  • Monitor for persistent or severe side effects
  • Follow up with Dr. Gelber as scheduled

Only One Component of Your Holistic Plan

Viscosupplementation is just one component of your comprehensive approach to managing joint pain and osteoarthritis. While it can provide relief and improve joint function, Dr. Gelber also provides other lifestyle recommendations and treatments to address the root cause of your orthopedic conditions. Your holistic orthopedic plan may include regenerative medicine techniques, such as PRP and stem cell injections, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. By integrating multiple elements into your plan, Dr. Gelber promotes long-term joint health.

Consult Dr. Gelber Today

Dr. Jonathan Gelber, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in sports medicine, takes a holistic and minimally invasive approach to orthopedic care. He offers integrative, regenerative, and minimally invasive treatments to address the root cause of your joint pain and other musculoskeletal conditions and only recommends surgery as a last resort. If you seek personalized and comprehensive joint care, consult Dr. Gelber today.

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