Recent clinical trials for the treatment of osteoarthritis: what we have learned

Sofat, Nidhi, Beith, Iain, Anilkumar, P. G. and Mitchell, Philip (2011) Recent clinical trials for the treatment of osteoarthritis: what we have learned. Review on Recent Clinical Trials, 6(2), pp. 114-126. ISSN (print) 1574-8871


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic arthritis affecting growing numbers of the ageing population. Patients diagnosed with OA place a large burden on access to healthcare services, including primary care, prescription of analgesic drugs, physiotherapy and joint replacement surgery. Not all patients diagnosed with OA will require joint replacement surgery, and therefore avenues for non-surgical treatment for such patients need to be explored in many cases. In this review we discuss current concepts underlying the pathophysiology of OA. These form a basis to understanding the rationale for new and existing therapies based on recent evidence available from clinical studies and trials in OA. In particular, we discuss the evidence for use of pharmacological treatments, including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, hyaluronan, potential disease-modifying drugs and other interventions such as weight reduction and physiotherapy. Finally, we discuss new developments from clinical evidence for surgical options, including ACL repair surgery and joint replacement surgery.

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