What is orthovisc
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Last Updated On: June 6, 2024

What Is Orthovisc? Mechanisms, Indications, and Clinical Applications

Published on: May 6, 2024

Did you know that the knee is the most commonly affected joint in osteoarthritis? This joint accounts for 41% of cases compared to the hand and hips. One of the main culprits of osteoarthritis in the knee is age. The wear and tear on our joints leads to progressive loss of articular cartilage. 

Orthovisc, which has a similar content to that of the joints in our body, shines as the go-to option for easing knee pain from osteoarthritis. This treatment allows individuals to become comfortable and free to move again without pain. It provides relief when other arthritis medications fall short.

In this article, weā€™ll explore the science behind Orthovisc, including its mechanisms, specific indications, and clinical applications.

Key Takeaways

  • Orthovisc is a hyaluronic acid (HA) based treatment used to alleviate joint pain and improve function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint.
  • It has a high molecular weight hyaluronan composition, which sets it apart from other osteoarthritis treatments.
  • Orthovisc provides lubrication and cushioning to the joint, reducing pain and improving mobility.
  • It is suitable for patients who have not responded well to other conservative treatments and want to avoid strenuous activities that may exacerbate their condition.
  • Healthcare professionals can administer Orthovisc injections using specific techniques to optimize patient outcomes.

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What Is Orthovisc?

Orthovisc is an injection used by doctors to relieve knee joint pain from osteoarthritis. It contains a high-molecular-weight version of hyaluronic acid, similar to the fluid naturally found in joints. Orthovisc acts as a lubricant and cushion, improving joint movement and providing relief when simple painkillers are ineffective.


Mechanisms of Action

Orthovisc is a cushion and lubricant in the knee joint, easing pain and improving mobility, especially for osteoarthritis patients. With its high molecular weight, hyaluronan, Orthovisc supplements the joint’s natural fluid, making movement smoother and less painful.Ā 


It significantly relieves osteoarthritis knee pain and supports improved joint function and mobility. By replenishing the hyaluronic acid in the joint fluid, Orthovisc reduces friction, promoting easier walking, bending, and climbing stairs. 

While patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities after injections, they can expect improved joint mobility with continued care, helping them stay active longer with reduced pain.

Indications for Orthovisc Use

Orthovisc treatment is a boon for those suffering from knee pain due to osteoarthritis. It steps in when simple pain relievers fail to make a difference. When patients get confused about Orthovisc vs Euflexxa, trying it for themselves may be worth it. Let’s explore who can benefit most from this option:

  • Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: Those experiencing severe knee pain and finding little to no relief from standard painkillers fit this profile perfectly.
  • Failed Other Treatments: If physical therapies or common medications haven’t eased the pain, Orthovisc injections could be the next step.
  • Looking for Non-surgical Options: Individuals hoping to avoid surgery might find Orthovisc a valuable alternative.
  • Active Older Adults: Seniors who want to maintain an active lifestyle but are held back by knee pain are ideal candidates.
  • Athletes With Joint Issues: Sports professionals or enthusiasts facing joint pain can use Orthovisc for relief and better mobility.
  • People Allergic to General Analgesics: Those who cannot tolerate usual pain medications due to allergic reactions might find Orthovisc suitable, as it is derived from bacterial cells, not standard pharmaceutical ingredients.
  • Patients Seeking Long-term Solutions: Orthovisc injections offer an extended period of comfort compared to other treatments for sustained relief from joint discomfort.
  • Individuals with Good Overall Health: Patients without significant health issues apart from osteoarthritis tend to respond best to this treatment.

Clinical Applications

Orthovisc is significantly impacting how doctors help people with joint pain. It’s used not just in regular clinics but also by sports doctors and older adults to make moving easier and less painful.In orthopedic practice, doctors often see patients with severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis. 

Made from high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (HA), it closely mimics the body’s natural joint fluid. By injecting Orthovisc directly into the knee joint, specialists aim to restore the fluid’s cushioning and lubricating properties, helping to ease pain and improve mobility. 

Doctors choose Orthovisc for its specific benefitsā€”especially when other treatments like simple analgesics or physical therapy have not worked well enough. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons sees hyaluronic acid HA injections as a valuable option for managing osteoarthritis symptoms before considering more invasive procedures such as surgery.

Orthovisc in Sports Medicine

Orthovisc plays a critical role in sports medicine, providing a solution for athletes with knee pain from repetitive stress and injuries. These injections mimic healthy joint fluid, improving mobility and reducing pain. Orthovisc is beneficial for athletes who haven’t found relief from standard treatments or want to avoid surgery.

Orthovisc in Geriatric Care

Orthovisc is vital in senior care, relieving older adults with knee osteoarthritis who haven’t found relief from basic pain relievers or non-pharmacological methods. These injections supplement joint fluid, directly targeting pain and improving mobility without surgery, helping seniors maintain an active lifestyle with reduced discomfort.

Patient Selection and Administration

Selecting the right patients for Orthovisc treatment is key to its success. This process involves understanding who will benefit the most from this specific approach to managing knee pain due to osteoarthritis.

  • Precise Osteoarthritis Diagnosis: Essential for patients experiencing knee joint pain and stiffness.
  • Inadequate Relief from Other Treatments: Candidates haven’t found sufficient relief from analgesics or non-pharmacological methods.
  • No Allergic Reactions to Components: Patients must be free from allergies to hyaluronic acid.
  • Understanding Treatment Expectations: Orthovisc alleviates pain but can’t cure osteoarthritis.
  • Good Overall Health: Patients should be generally healthy without skin diseases or infections.
  • Willingness for Injections: Comfortable with intra-articular injections.
  • Age Considerations: Typically geared toward adults experiencing knee pain from osteoarthritis.
  • Activity Level Evaluation: The impact of joint function and mobility is discussed.
  • Previous Joint Injections: Medical history of past joint injections is considered.
  • Consultation with Specialists: Often referred by other doctors or specialists for osteoarthritis pain relief options.

Techniques for Administering Orthovisc Injections

Medical professionals must follow precise steps to administer Orthovisc treatment successfully.

  • Confirm the patient’s history of osteoarthritis and ensure they have not found adequate pain relief from simple analgesics.
  • Check for allergies, particularly hyaluronic acid, to prevent allergic reactions.
  • Clean the knee area with an antiseptic solution to minimize infection risks.
  • Mark the injection site carefullyā€”usually, this is on the side with less inflammation.
  • Use a fine needle to inject Orthovisc directly into the knee joint space.
  • Apply gentle pressure at the injection site after withdrawing the needle to help spread Orthovisc evenly within the joint.
  • Advise patients to rest their knees and avoid strenuous activities after injection to optimize healing.
  • Schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the patient’s response and adjust treatment as necessary.


Orthovisc stands out for its unique way of easing knee pain from osteoarthritis. It’s not just any treatmentā€”it’s a unique injection that helps when usual painkillers don’t work. These shots can help people with joint pain find relief and move more easily.

With Orthovisc, many find the comfort they need to stay active and enjoy life without constant knee pain.


1. What is Orthovisc, and how does it work?

Orthovisc is a treatment for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. It’s injected into the knee and acts as a liquid cushion to improve joint movement and reduce pain.

2. Who recommends Orthovisc for knee pain?

Major bone doctor groups, such as the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, recommend Orthovisc for relieving knee arthritis pain.

3. Can anyone receive an Orthovisc injection?

Not everyone can. If you’re allergic to hyaluronic acid, the main ingredient in Orthovisc, you might need to skip this treatment for safety reasons.

4. What should I expect after getting an Orthovisc injection?

After the injection, your knee may feel better as it moves more efficiently and has reduced pain. However, keeping your doctor informed about your feelings is essential to ensure effective and safe treatment.

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Peck J, Slovek A, Miro P, et al. A Comprehensive Review of Viscosupplementation in Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Orthopedic Reviews. Published online July 10, 2021. doi:https://doi.org/10.52965/001c.25549

Patient Information ORTHOVISCĀ® High Molecular Weight Hyaluronan. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf3/p030019d.pdf