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Viscosupplementation injections consist of hyaluronic acid-like fluids which are injected directly into the arthritic joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial (joint) fluid. It acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads.
Studies have shown that viscosupplementation injections provide significant pain relief in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Their beneficial effects may last for several months or longer. Currently these injections are approved by the FDA for use in patients with knee osteoarthritis, but research is being conducted in other joints, such as the hip, ankle, and shoulder.
To read more, go to http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00217