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Published on: 15-Feb-2023

Joint fluid therapy or viscosupplementation is a procedure often prescribed to people with mild to severe arthritis or pain and swelling in their joints. If you’ve never had this procedure before, you may feel anxious or concerned. Fortunately, joint fluid therapy isn’t anything to worry about.

What is Viscosupplementation Treatment? 

Viscosupplementation, or joint fluid therapy, is a non-invasive treatment used to help patients with joint pain. It involves the injection of a hyaluronic acid solution directly into the affected joint. This process improves the cushioning and lubrication of the joint, making it easier to move. 

How Does It Help?       

Joint fluid therapy can relieve the pain caused by osteoarthritis in the knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, and shoulders. It helps to reduce friction and the wear and tear on the joint, making it easier to move. It works by replicating the body’s natural lubrication and cushioning of the joint. 

Viscosupplementation can help reduce inflammation and the need for pain-relieving medicines. If you’re interested in learning how to get rid of knee pain, you may consider joint fluid therapy due to its low cost. Viscosupplementation is also a relatively quick and painless procedure. 

What Risks Are Associated with Joint Fluid Therapy?

Most people don’t receive any side effects from joint fluid therapy, but there are some risks involved. The most common problem you may encounter is a flare-up of your arthritis after the injection. This can cause additional pain and swelling, typically in the short term.

There’s also a chance that viscosupplementation doesn’t help your symptoms. This often occurs in patients who have severe arthritis. It could also occur if the wrong area is injected.

Some other risks include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Minor to severe bleeding
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Possible infection

Speak to your doctor if you suspect you already have an infection or you have concerns about the procedure. Your risk will vary depending on your medical conditions and the injection site.

How Do You Prepare for the Test?

Patients typically don’t have to prepare before the procedure, but your doctor may give you specific instructions to follow. For example, you may need to take aspirin or other blood thinners. On the day of your procedure, you’ll eat and drink as normal. You should wear comfortable clothing.

What Can I Expect During and After?

It’s a good idea to know what to expect during viscosupplementation treatment, so you feel more relaxed during your appointment. 

Here’s what to expect during and after the procedure.

Pre-procedure Evaluation

Your therapist will evaluate your joints to identify the areas that need joint fluid therapy by testing your range of motion and joint strength. 

Testing for Infection

Before fluid is injected into your joints, your therapist might administer a blood or laboratory test to check for infections or underlying conditions. 


Next, your therapist will prepare the injection area by cleansing the area with an antiseptic. A numbing agent may be administered to help you feel comfortable. 

Proper Injection Technique

Your therapist will inject the fluid directly into the affected joint using a syringe and a fine needle. This ensures safety and effectiveness. 

Post-injection Care

Once the injection is complete, your therapist will provide you with post-injection care instructions. These will vary depending on your health profile.

Time for Results

You’ll likely start feeling relief from your joint pain within a few days of the injection, but it can take up to two weeks for the full effects to be felt. 

Follow-up Appointments

Your therapist may ask you to come back for follow-up appointments to track your progress and evaluate your ongoing needs.

Potential Side Effects

Some side effects will be apparent immediately after the injection, but some take a while. Keep monitoring the injection site for a few days.

Take Time to Heal

Your therapist will encourage you to take the time to rest and let your joints heal and recover. Try to avoid strenuous activity to promote healing.


Joint fluid therapy can take some time and patience to achieve the desired results, but stay positive and trust in the process. You’ll feel better before you know it.

The procedure takes around 20 minutes to complete, and recovery can take 2 to 3 days. If you experience increased pain, red streaks, pus, or a fever, contact a healthcare professional.

The post Joint Fluid Therapy: What to Expect appeared first on Sports Medicine Weekly By Dr. Brian Cole.