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What is a viscosupplement (hyaluronic acid) injection?

MIC offers viscosupplement or hyaluronic acid injections to help reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like substance found in the synovial fluid in healthy joints. It acts as both a lubricant and a shock absorber. When you have osteoarthritis, this fluid becomes diseased and stops protecting your affected joint(s). This may result in inflammation, swelling, tenderness and pain in the joint which can cause reduced mobility.

When hyaluronic acid is injected into your affected joint, it can help:

  • Lubricate the joint.
  • Reduce Inflammation.
  • Improve shock absorption and mobility.
  • Restore function to the joint.

Filling your viscosupplement prescription:

Your healthcare practitioner will decide which viscosupplement will work best for you.

If your healthcare practitioner requests Durolane, you can purchase this at a direct cost from MIC. We will confirm the cost when you book your appointment and give you a receipt which you can submit to your extended benefits plan for reimbursement.

For other brands, you will need to fill your prescription and bring the medication to your appointment.

Pain relief:

  • Pain relief may last for weeks, months, or years and varies from patient to patient.
  • If the injection helps to relieve your pain, your healthcare practitioner may order repeat viscosupplement injections as often as needed.

What to expect

 When you call to book your appointment, our Central Booking staff will go over any special instructions with you.

At your appointment, our technologist will position you on an exam table so you are comfortable. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb or ‘freeze’ the skin and muscles near the joint. This might sting for a few seconds.

During the procedure, your MIC radiologist will use live x-ray imaging called fluoroscopy to position the needle accurately and safely. Once the needle is in the right location, you will receive an injection of anesthetic and viscosupplement.

You may notice a slight increase in pain, numbness, or weakness as the anesthetic or freezing wears off.

It can take up to two weeks for the injection to work. During this time, you can take pain medications until the pain subsides.

Your healthcare practitioner may recommend physiotherapy to ensure you obtain the best results.