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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2008 Sep-Oct;47(5):377-84. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2008.06.013.

The role of viscosupplementation in the ankle using hylan G-F 20.

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  • 1John Peter Smith Hospital, Department of Orthopaedics, Podiatry Section, Fort Worth, TX 76104, USA.


The use of intra-articular injections of high molecular weight elastoviscous solutions of hyaluronan or hylans (cross-linked derivatives of hyaluronan) to treat arthritis is termed viscosupplementation. The function of viscosupplementation is to restore the rheologic properties of synovial fluid. Although anecdotal data exist, no long-term studies regarding the use of viscosupplementation in the ankle have been published to date. The goal of this clinical trial was to compare pain reduction following ankle arthroscopy versus that following ankle arthroscopy combined with weekly intra-articular instillation of hylan G-F 20 during the first 3 postoperative weeks. In the series of patients described in this report, we found that both treatment groups experienced statistically significantly decreased pain following the intervention (P = .002 and P = .0009 for the arthroscopy alone and arthroscopy plus hylan groups, respectively), and that those who received 3 intra-articular injections of hylan G-F 20 following ankle arthroscopy improved statistically significantly (P = .0014) more than did those who underwent arthroscopy as a sole therapy. These preliminary results suggest that viscosupplementation combined with arthroscopy may be more beneficial than arthroscopy alone, and provide further insight into the role of viscosupplementation in the treatment of ankle osteoarthritis.



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