Avoiding The Need For Surgery With The Latest Osteoarthritis Treatments

2011-09-08 | |
Last updated: 2011-09-08

What Nonsurgical Osteoarthritis Treatments Are Being Researched?

While PRP therapy is one of the few successful new treatments available, research scientists are working to develop others.

Treating Osteoarthritis With Existing Gout Medications

One simple treatment for Osteoarthritis that is not yet available but could soon be is the use of medications normally used to treat the joint condition, Gout. Earlier this year, researchers from Duke University determined that 39% of people with Osteoarthritis had high levels of uric acid in their knees. In people with Gout, uric acid crystals form in the joints causing inflammation, joint damage and considerable pain. The researchers in the study also observed the same type of inflammation in the Osteoarthritis patients as they do in people suffering from Gout.

These results are very important because if subsequent research involving Osteoarthritis patients and Gout medications is positive, a readily available drug could soon be applied to the treatment of some of the worst cases of Osteoarthritis.

Increasing The Normal Rate Of Cartilage Repair

In addition to this treatment, researchers are working toward treatments that will likely be available further into the future. Two promising treatments under development both focus on trying to improve the ability of cartilage to repair itself. This is typically difficult because the cells responsible for creating cartilage often have a difficult time adhering to existing cartilage and performing repairs.

Two improve the healing process, one of these treatments, being developed at the University of Michigan, involves placing a patient’s own cartilage cells within a small cell carrier, a nanosphere. When the biodegradable nanospheres are injected into the joint, they provide a preexisting framework for the cartilage cells to begin growing onto the existing damaged cartilage. Based on their research, the scientists found that the nanospheres resulted in 3 to 4 times the amount of regenerated cartilage in comparison to simply injecting cartilage cells into the joint on their own.

Another related treatment that is also seeking to improve natural cartilage healing involves work from Hiroshima University. Researchers there are using magnetically tagged stem cells and magnetic fields to promote healing. By injecting a permanent magnet into the cartilage at the site of the damage or using a magnet field outside of the body, the researchers were able to attract and hold the stem cells to the injured area on the cartilage. The stem cells then began to change into the cells responsible for maintaining cartilage and also began to adhere to the injured site. In contrast, when the stem cells were not held at the site of cartilage damage, far fewer contributed to cartilage healing.

While different in approach, these two methods for promoting healing at the point where cartilage is damaged are promising because of their ability to coax the body to heal itself.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Disease Information, Medical Research, Medical Treatment

Comments are closed.