Hyaluronic acid (Hyaluronan) is the chief compound injected into joints for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain symptoms in a procedure known as viscosupplementation.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural compound and is present in healthy synovial fluid. The compound has joint lubricating properties that have in some cases relieved joint pain and inflammation, especially for treating knee osteoarthritis. Research is ongoing for whether viscosupplementation for hip osteoarthritis is as effective.
Viscosupplementation does not cure osteoarthritis or repair the underlying cause of joint pain. The pain relief it may provide to some patients offers them an opportunity to participate in the physical therapies, exercises, or everyday activities that would be otherwise too painful to do.