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Evidence Of Benefit Lacking
For Many Common Ways Of Treating Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
edited by Joint-Pain-Forum.com
new scientific review released by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality concludes that evidence of benefit is lacking for many
common ways of treating osteoarthritis of the knee, including popular
dietary supplement ingredients, a common surgical procedure, and
The review found that
glucosamine and chondroitin, over-the-counter dietary supplement
ingredients that are used widely because of their purported benefits to
relieve knee pain caused by osteoarthritis and improve physical
functioning, appear to be no more effective than placebos. A placebo is
a harmless substance given to selected patients in a clinical trial
that looks like the real drug or injection being studied, but which has
no medical effect.
The review, which was requested
and funded by HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also
failed to find convincing evidence of benefit from arthroscopic surgery
to clean the knee joint with or without removal of debris and loose
Published studies generally report that
injections with hyaluronan preparations (substances that are intended
to improve lubrication of the knee joint) improve scores on patient
questionnaires used to measure pain and function. However, the evidence
is uncertain because of variation in study quality and difficulty
determining whether changes in scores translate into real clinical
improvements for patients.
www.Joint-Pain-Forum.com from original press release.
"Millions of Americans seek relief
from the pain and reduced mobility caused by osteoarthritis of the
knee," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "However, they should
work with their clinicians to decide the best course of treatment for
them based on what has and has not been proven to work."
is a widespread, costly disease that wears away the cartilage
cushioning the knee joint, causing pain and reducing mobility.
Arthritic diseases, which include osteoarthritis, affect an estimated
46 million people in the United States, and at age 64 and older, one in
10 Americans is estimated to have osteoarthritis of the knee.
Osteoarthritis and related arthritic conditions cost more than $81
billion a year in medical care, lost wages, and other expenses.
authors, who were led by David J. Samson, M.S., associate director of
the AHRQ-supported Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Evidence-based Practice Center in Chicago, reviewed findings from 53
randomized clinical trials of glucosamine, chrondroitin, and injections
with hyaluronan preparations and 23 studies of arthroscopy. The review
scrutinized individual studies concerned with these treatments' effects
as well as meta-analyses that analyzed the combined evidence of groups
According to authors, better quality
randomized clinical trials are needed to clarify whether these
treatments are beneficial. However, given the aging of the population
and increasing prevalence of obesity - both risk factors for
osteoarthritis of the knee - "research on new approaches to prevention
and treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee should be a high priority."
For a copy of Treatment of Primary and
Secondary Osteoarthritis of the Knee, click here.
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