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Orthopaedic Injectables

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What are orthopedic injectables?

Orthopedic injectables, also known as viscosupplements, hyaluronate injections, or chicken shots, are injectable gels made of hyaluronic acid or a similar substance. This may be naturally-sourced from chickens or created from bacterial fermentation in the laboratory, and the gel may also contain an anesthetic for pain relief. These gels are similar in viscosity to synovial fluid naturally found in joints. In an aging or injured joint, the quality of this natural synovial fluid may degrade, and the cartilage may begin wearing down, causing friction in the joint. This results in pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. Orthopedic injectables help by lubricating the affected joint and supplementing the synovial fluid to provide a cushioning effect. This reduces friction with movement, allowing the patient to use their joint with reduced pain. Doctors administer these injectables in their office or clinic.

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