treatments for osteoarthritis are designed to reduce joint pain.
Additionally, certain types of treatment may slow down cartilage
deterioration within the joint and even rebuild cartilage.
Treatments to Reduce Arthritis Pain:
Beginning arthritis pain is often treated with Tylenol 37.
If Tylenol does not adequately control symptoms, the next line of drug
therapy is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) 37.
- piroxicam (Feldene)
- diclofenac (Voltaren)
block the formation of prostaglandins, a substance which triggers
inflammation in the body. A drawback of NSAIDs is the risk of
developing stomach ulcers, which can lead to significant
gastrointestinal bleeding. Stomach ulcers occur when prostaglandins
which protect the stomach are blocked by the NSAIDS. For this reason,
drug manufacturers have been striving to develop new medications with
fewer side effects 37.
Injections are sometimes used for arthritis treatment when other
medications can not be tolerated, or if oral medications do not
sufficiently reduce pain. The most commonly prescribed injections are Hyalgan and Synvisc, they are derivatives of hyaluronic acid 37.
Hyaluronic acid is a gelatinous fluid naturally found in healthy
joints, which deteriorates with the onset of arthritis.
Hyalgan and Synvisc are only approved by the FDA for use in the
Cartilage Cell Transplant
is characterized by breakdown of the cartilage within a joint.
Cartilage cell transplants are one way to help repair this damage. The
procedure is not effective in full-blown cases of osteoarthritis, but
is useful for those in the early stages of the disease. Cartilage cell
transplant procedure 1:
1. A dime size piece of healthy knee cartilage is harvested by a surgeon.
2. The cells are cultured in a lab for several weeks, growing millions of cells.
3. The cultured cells are injected back into the damaged knee, where
they knit themselves into the connective tissue of the joint.
Currently, only a small area about an inch wide can be repaired by this procedure. Carticel is the proprietary name of the cultured cell solution used in this
procedure. Carticel is only approved for use in the knee. A full-color electronic brochure detailing the Carticel transplant procedure is available.
Acupuncture treatment is associated with a reduction in the symptoms of
disability from osteoarthritis when used as a short term treatment 57.