Total Joint Replacement after Glucosamine Sulphate Treatment in Knee Osteoarthritis

This is an interesting study. 275 patients were given either placebo or glucosamine sulphate for one year.

  • 131 took a placebo
  • 144 took glucosamine sulphate

All the participants were followed up on average for 5 years after this 12 months treatment period. It was noted that twice as many participants in the placebo group compared with the treatment group went on to have total knee replacement surgery placebo group, 19/131 (14.5%), glucosamine sulphate, 9/144 (6.3%)
This difference is significant and could not have occurred by chance.

A pharmacoeconomic analysis in a subgroup of subjects demonstrated that ” glucosamine group used less medications and other health resources compared with placebo group.” The researchers concluded that treating knee OA with glucosamine sulphate for at least 12 months may prevent Joint replacement surgery in an average follow-up of 5 years after drug discontinuation.

There remains a lot of debate as to whether glucosamine is effective in osteoarthritis as many trials have shown no effect.

This trial adds support to the arguement that 12 months of glucosamine is worth considering.

Source: Bruyere O, Pavelka K, Rovati LC, Gatterova J, Giacovelli G, Olejarova M, et al. “Total joint replacement after glucosamine sulphate treatment in knee osteoarthritis: results of a mean 8-year observation of patients from two previous 3-year, randomised, placebo-controlled trials.” Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2007 Jul 26; September 2007)