Joints, such as the hip, knee, and shoulder, normally contain a small amount of joint fluid. This joint fluid helps provide nutrition for the cartilage covering the bones as well as lubrication between the bones during range of motion. Intra-articular (IA) joint injections are used to treat pain in the joint and surrounding structures. Both corticosteroid and viscosupplement injections are used to treat pain associated with joint inflammation and arthritis. Corticosteroids assist in reducing pain and inflammation in painful areas.
In normal joint fluid, there is a substance known as hyaluronic acid. Studies have found that in patients with osteoarthritis the amount of hyaluronic acid is diminished. Viscosupplementation injections consist of hyaluronic acid-like fluids which are injected directly into the arthritic joint.
What can you expect after Corticosteroid and Viscosupplementation injections?
Corticosteroid injections have been shown to reduce pain and improve function individuals with specific musculoskeletal conditions.
Studies have shown that viscosupplementation injections provide significant pain relief in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis and the benefits may last for several months of longer.
Currently viscosupplementation is approved by the FDA for use in patients with knee osteoarthritis.