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What is the function of synovial fluid in joints?

Dr. Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Synovial fluid is necessary for normal joint function. Synovial fluid moves into the cartilage when a joint is resting, and moves out into the joint space when the joint is active, particularly when the joint is engaged in a weight-bearing activity such as exercise. Synovial fluid lubricates the joints and permits smooth movement. It also provides important nutrients to them.

The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...

The synovial fluid in joints provides lubrication for the joint to move. It also provides nutrition to the cartilage on either end of the bones of the joint.

Arthritis can cause people to lose fluid in the joints. When this happens, doctors can inject a lubricant called hyaluronate, which provides up to six months of relief. After that, you would get a series of injections every six months to a year. If that doesn’t work, or stops working, you're looking at possible joint replacement.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.