Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis of the knee, there are many treatment options available. In its early stages, some of the more common options include changes in activity level, pain relievers such as ibuprofen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), along with physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections.
Another treatment option is a procedure called viscosupplementation. This is an FDA approved procedure in which a thick fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee 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.
People with osteoarthritis (“wear-and-tear” arthritis) have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints.
Viscosupplementation may be a therapeutic option for individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.