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Institute of Advanced Orthopedics, MOSC Hospital and Medical College, Kolenchery, Ernakulam, Kerala

Synovial Fluid Restoration

Synovial Fluid Replacement Therapy, a fast and effective treatment for crippling Osteoarthritis, is a very valuable remedy documented in the many scientific studies investigating healthcare applications of Hyaluronic Acid (HA).  The treatment, which involves injecting a preparation of Hyaluronic Acid into the knee joint, allows a patient’s life to return to normal by relieving pain and restoring joint functions.


When Is Synovial Fluid Replacement Treatment Indicated?


The Synovial joints in the human body are very much like hinges. Just as hinges are lubricated by oil, the synovial joints are lubricated by a fluid secreted by the lining of the synovial joint.  This fluid is known as synovial fluid.  Hyaluronic Acid, the chief constituent of synovial fluid, endows properties like viscosity and elasticity to the fluid. These properties facilitate smooth functioning of bones and cartilage, assisting with joint movement.

With advancing years, the Hyaluronic Acid content in synovial fluid drops, and the fluid loses its viscoelasticity. The thinning of the synovial fluid gives rise to Osteoarthritis (OA) of the bones, disrupting the normal functioning of the joints. The joints become stiff, swollen and painful due to friction between bones and cartilage that also wears away with age.


Synovial Fluid Replacement Therapy can stop and even reverse this degenerating process of the Osteoarthritic joints. Also known as ‘Viscosupplementation,’ the therapy improves joint function and alleviates pain by restoring the viscosity of synovial fluid through HA supplementation. In addition, scientific studies have shown that HA supplementation as part of Synovial Fluid Replacement treatment stimulates the synovial joint linings to produce Hyaluronic Acid on their own.


The Treatment


Synovial Fluid Replacement Therapy uses Hyaluronic Acid derived from rooster combs or non-animal sources, which is injected directly into the knee joints.  Available by prescription, Synovial Fluid Replacement Therapy is recommended for various stages of knee OA. Usually, one injection a week is continued for 3 to 5 weeks depending on the brand being used. Hyaluronic Acid Knee Injections of different brands are available in the market: Synvisc, Durolane, Hyalgan, Orthovisc and Supartz , to name a few).


Synovial Fluid Replacement Therapy is neither very painful nor does it trigger many adverse effects. Of course, people allergic to chicken and/or eggs cannot tolerate the animal source treatment. For those patients we use the non-animal source synovial fluid replacement.  Barring this drawback, synovial fluid replacement is the safest and most long lasting treatment for Osteoarthritis.



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