Low-Dose Colchicine Might Prevent or Delay Knee, Hip Replacements
Health Day speaks to experts including Linda A. Russell, MD, rheumatologist at HSS about a study published on May 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicating colchicine might deliver relief and delay surgery for those with knee and hip arthritis.
The study, published May 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, does come with a big caveat, researchers noted: The patients were part of a trial testing colchicine for warding off heart trouble — not joint replacements.
Dr. Russell noted that colchicine has a long history of use, and it is “relatively safe and well-tolerated.” She continued to say the new findings are not enough to prove that colchicine delays joint replacements. For one, it's not clear how many patients already had surgery planned before they entered the trial.
For now, Dr. Russell said that people with osteoarthritis can do some things to prevent or delay a joint replacement: lose weight, if needed, and strengthen the muscles supporting the affected joint.
Those tactics, according to Dr. Russell may both slow the underlying disease progression and ease chronic pain — the key reason that people opt for surgery.
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