Viscosupplementation consists of the injection of "artificial joint lubricant" directly into the joint. It is an important component of arthritis treatment. A substance called hyaluronic acid is injected directly into the joint. Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by the body and serves to reduce friction and act as a shock absorber in the joint. Arthritis leads to more rapid breakdown of hyaluronic acid, resulting in an imbalance. Consequently, the layer of synovial fluid in the joint becomes too "thin". As a result, the cartilage is inadequately hydrated and protected.
The hyaluronic acid used for injection therapy is produced synthetically. When injected directly into the joint, hyaluronic acid covers defects on the cartilage surface, reducing stiffness and pain in the joint. Three to five hyaluronic acid injections are administered in biweekly intervals. The duration of effect of the injections is variable. In most cases, there is a significant reduction of symptoms lasting for several months.