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.