Items in AFP with MESH term: Osteoarthritis
ABSTRACT: Americans spend more on natural remedies for osteoarthritis than for any other medical condition. In treating osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, two of the molecular building blocks found in articular cartilage, are the most commonly used alternative supplements. In randomized trials of variable quality, these compounds show efficacy in reducing symptoms, but neither has been shown to arrest progression of the disease or regenerate damaged cartilage. Although few clinical trials on S-adenosylmethionine exist, preliminary evidence indicates that it relieves pain to a degree similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but with fewer side effects. Clinical trials of dimethyl sulfoxide offer conflicting results. Neither ginger nor cetyl myristoleate has proven clinical usefulness.
Ginger: An Overview - Article
ABSTRACT: Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the more commonly used herbal supplements. Although often consumed for culinary purposes, it is taken by many patients to treat a variety of conditions. Ginger has been shown to be effective for pregnancy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting. There is less evidence to support its use for motion sickness or other types of nausea and vomiting. Mixed results have been found in limited studies of ginger for the treatment of arthritis symptoms.
ABSTRACT: Most patients with osteoarthritis seek medical attention because of pain. The safest initial approach is to use a simple oral analgesic such as acetaminophen (perhaps in conjunction with topical therapy). If pain relief is inadequate, oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid-like products should be considered. Intra-articular corticosteroid injections may provide short-term pain relief in disease flares. Alleviation of pain does not alter the underlying disease. Attention must also be given to nonpharmacologic measures such as patient education, weight loss and exercise. Relief of pain and restoration of function can be achieved in some patients with early osteoarthritis, particularly if an integrated approach is used. Patients with advanced disease may eventually require surgery, which generally provides excellent results.
Tempering the Enthusiasm for COX-2 Inhibitors - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Knee osteoarthritis is a common but often difficult problem to manage in primary care. Traditional nonsurgical management, consisting of lifestyle modification, physical therapy and pharmacologic therapy (e.g., analgesics, anti-inflammatory medications), is often ineffective or leaves residual symptoms. Viscosupplementation is a newly available option for patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis that involves a series of intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid. The exact mechanism of action is unclear, although increasing the viscoelasticity of the synovial fluid appears to play a role. Clinical experience and studies of the two hyaluronic acid products available, hyaluronan and hylan G-F 20, are inconclusive but seem to indicate beneficial effects with minimal adverse reactions in a significant number of patients. The exact indications for viscosupplementation are still evolving, but it currently can be considered for use in patients who have significant residual symptoms despite traditional nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic treatments. In addition, patients who are intolerant of traditional treatments (e.g., gastrointestinal problems related to anti-inflammatory medications) can be considered for these injections. Family physicians with the ability to perform intra-articular knee injections should consider them an option in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
Painless Nodules in the Fingers - Photo Quiz
Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article
ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative disorder of the articular cartilage associated with hypertrophic bone changes. Risk factors include genetics, female sex, past trauma, advancing age, and obesity. The diagnosis is based on a history of joint pain worsened by movement, which can lead to disability in activities of daily living. Plain radiography may help in the diagnosis, but laboratory testing usually does not. Pharmacologic treatment should begin with acetaminophen and step up to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Exercise is a useful adjunct to treatment and has been shown to reduce pain and disability. The supplements glucosamine and chondroitin can be used for moderate to severe osteoarthritis when taken in combination. Corticosteroid injections provide inexpensive, short-term (four to eight weeks) relief of osteoarthritic flare-ups of the knee, whereas hyaluronic acid injections are more expensive but can maintain symptom improvement for longer periods. Total joint replacement of the hip, knee, or shoulder is recommended for patients with chronic pain and disability despite maximal medical therapy.
Analgesics for Osteoarthritis - Implementing AHRQ Effective Health Care Reviews