Objective : To consider the additional effects of glucosamine hydrochloride on osteoarthritis of the knee (knee OA).
Subjects/Methods : The subjects were 20 middle-aged and elderly female patients with knee OA (mean age 73.1 years) undergoing conservative treatment, and a small-scale clinical test was conducted for three months.
The subjects were divided into a 750-mg (G750) group and a 1,500-mg (G1500) group according to the amount of glucosamine used, and evaluations of local findings, pain index (VAS : visual analog scale), questionnaire (JKOM : Japanese Knee Osteoarthritis Measure) and markers of bone and cartilage metabolism (COMP, CTX-2, C2C, hyaluronic acid, NTX, osteocalcin) were made once a month after the start of the test.
Results : The characteristics of the subjects in the G750 group were : mean age 74.8 yr, K-L grade II 2 knees, III 17 knees, and those in the G1500 group were : mean age 71.3 yr, K-L grade II 5 knees, III 12 knees. There were no significant differences between the groups. There was no significant change in local findings resulting from the use of glucosamine hydrochloride in either of the groups. The JKOM values improved significantly, compared to the values before use, for the items “stiffness/pain in the knee” and“condition of daily life”at three months in the G750 group (P=0.008) and after one month in the G1500 group (P=0.015). The VAS values were improved significantly, compared to the values before use, only in the G1500 group after two months (P=0.012). No significant change was seen in the markers of bone and cartilage metabolism in either group.
Conclusion : From the results of this small-scale study, additional effects of pain alleviation were seen by additional use of glucosamine in the conventional conservative treatment of knee OA.