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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Synvisc for Ankle May Not Be Effective

By January 5, 2012

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Viscosupplementation treatment, a type of lubricating joint injection often referred to by its most common trade name of 'Synvisc,' has been used for more than a decade in the knee joint.  Recently, investigators have looked into the use of Synvisc (and other types of viscosupplementation) in other joints including the hips, shoulders, and ankles.

A recent study compared the use of viscuspplementation versus a saline injection into the ankle joint.  This study was very well done, as the patients and doctors did not know which injection was being done, and therefore the results tend to have less bias.  The study only used a single injection, where some doctors may use three or more, but found no better results in the patients who received the placebo injection for ankle arthritis.

Related: Ankle Arthritis | Synvisc Injections

Source: Intra-Articular Injection of Hyaluronic Acid Is Not Superior to Saline Solution Injection for Ankle Arthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study"

March 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(1) terry brockett says:

Synvisc injections have been administered on my ankle and I the injections relieved my pain. Unfortunately, the injections are not covered by insurance since the medical trials have not been conducted on ankles therefore, I am responsible for the payment of the injections.
I had broken an ankle and after the ankle healed, the pain eventually returned. Cortisone shots did not relieve the pain, however, I found a othopedic surgeon who administers synvisc shots on ankles. I have had three shots of synvisc and the shots ameliorated the pain.

With every fracture, arthritis forms and there is a loss of synovial fluid.At this point, arthritis in my ankle is not extensive therefore the injections work.

May 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm
(2) T Grier says:

It would be great if you would provide a link, or a detailed reference for the study. It would be interesting to read the study to understand the group size, dosage vs body mass, duration, etc. Living abroad I was received prescription ankle viscosupplementation and found the treatments to be very effective from the very first injection.

My ankles are not totally arthritic but are compromised by years of high school, collegiate and ongoing court, field and running sports. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to continue treatments since returning to the USA – but would not object to taking part in a well planned trial.

May 22, 2012 at 8:33 am
(3) orthopedics says:

Dear T. Grier,

There is a link to the article above, listed under “Source”.

You can find it here.

This material cannot be copied/plagiarized, therefore I cannot copy the entire article and republish it. If you want to read the entire article (not just the abstract), your options are to purchase it from the publication (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery) or go to a local medical library and see if they subscribe or can do an inter-library loan to get you the specific information. There is information on the article page about gaining full access.


Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

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