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Conventional medical therapy for osteoarthritis

current state of the evidence

Gelber, Allan C.

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: May 2015 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 312–317
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000164
OSTEOARTHRITIS: Edited by Allan C. Gelber

Purpose of review The incidence and prevalence of osteoarthritis at the knee, hip, and hand joints are rising. Knowledge about recent developments in the treatment of osteoarthritis is highly relevant to current medical and rheumatology practice. This review will highlight key findings from the published literature in the past 18 months, identified via a PubMed search, including the context for these studies, their key findings, and implications.

Recent findings Main themes from the literature covered by this article include a continued focus on acetaminophen and glucosamine–chondroitin as therapeutic agents in the medical management of osteoarthritis. In addition, there is a relatively novel focus on use of adalimumab, a tumor necrosis factor inhibitor, and on strontium ranelate, in relation to outcomes of pain and structural progression in osteoarthritic joints.

Summary Recent studies convey a continued focus on potential therapeutic benefit derived from a combination of glucosamine–chondroitin, and intrigue the reader with a focus on biologic therapy (i.e. tumor necrosis factor antagonist) for osteoarthritis, and with use of strontium ranelate as a newer agent with potential therapeutic benefit.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to Allan C. Gelber, MD, MPH, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5200 Eastern Avenue, Mason F. Lord Bldg. Center Tower, Suite 4100, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. Tel: +1 410 550 2018; fax: +1 410 550 2072; e-mail:

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