Here is good news for people with joint problems!
A study has found that a pill called colchicine could help reduce the need for knee and hip replacement surgeries. Let’s examine what it all means.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects our joints like knees and hips. It becomes more common with age and can be associated with mild inflammation from weight-bearing injuries.
Previous studies showed that anti-inflammatory treatments could slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Colchicine is a drug known to work well against inflammation and fibrosis, but is not currently recommended for treating osteoarthritis. The long-term effects have also not yet been investigated.
The big experiment
Some researchers from Sint Maartenskliniek and Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands conducted an experiment.
They wanted to find out whether the daily administration of 0.5 mg of colchicine could reduce the need for total knee and hip arthroplasty.
Over 5,500 participants aged between 35 and 82 from 43 centers in Australia and the Netherlands took part in the experiment.
They received colchicine 0.5 mg daily or a placebo (a pill without medicine) and were followed for about 29 months.
What did you find?
The researchers found something interesting. Compared to those who received the placebo, fewer people who received colchicine required knee or hip replacement surgery.
Only 2.5 percent of those taking colchicine required surgery, compared with 3.5 percent of those taking the placebo. This result was consistent for men, but the study couldn’t determine whether this was also true for women.
What does that mean?
These results support the notion that inflammation contributes to the worsening of osteoarthritis.
If colchicine, which fights inflammation, can reduce the need for joint replacement surgery, it could be a potential treatment option for osteoarthritis in the future.
Is Colchicine Safe?
Researchers noted that colchicine is commonly used in other conditions and generally has a good safety record. This makes it a promising candidate for the longer-term treatment of osteoarthritis.
However, more studies are needed to confirm these findings and see how this applies to everyone, including women. Until then, keep moving, eat healthy, and follow your doctor’s advice to protect your joints!
If you care about pain, read studies on why cholesterol-lowering statins can cause muscle pain and read a new drug-free pain management device.
For more information on pain, see recent studies on pain relievers that can worsen arthritis inflammation and the results showing that aspirin can prevent deadly complications from fractures.
The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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