Monday, July 6, 2009

Consensus?


Yet another organization has published their recommendations for treating the osteoarthritic knee.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - has a paper titled "Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Guide for Adults"



We now have both the government and the surgeons themselves agreeing on the following:





  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin usually do not decrease pain or increase movement

  • Viscosupplementation Injections (Hyaluronic Acid) have little effect

  • Arthroscopy has no lasting benefit for the arthritic knee (unless there is a co-existing condition such as a torn meniscus or loose body).


The level of evidence continues to increase and although not 100% conclusive against these treatments, it is now apparent that they will not significantly benefit arthritis sufferers as a group.



Remember, that all of the reviews I have mentioned recommend the 3 proven treatments:



  • Exercise

  • Weight loss

  • Painkillers


They are not very exciting but they have repeatedly been shown to work.



The good news is that this disease is worth billions of dollars worldwide. This means there is a massive incentive for orthopaedic companies to research new treatments.

Fingers crossed there is a break through soon.

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