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Finding a drug that can actually delay the progression (worsening) of knee osteoarthritis is difficult and several large trials of drugs that looked promising in early research failed to pan out according to Stanley Cohen, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. This is why he is so excited about the results of a recent study using the mineral strontium in patients with arthritis of the knee.
In a three-year study of 1,371 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee treatment with strontium ranelate had significantly less degredation of the width of their knee joint space than those on placebo; the mineral was preventing worsening damage to the joint. Pain scores, stiffness and flexibility, physical function and knee pain all improved on the mineral. Strontium decreased pain and importantly it also slowed worsening of the diseased joint – something the drugs cannot do. Additionally the strontium was safe and did not cause unpleasant side effects – just the opposite of many arthritis drugs. The study was performed by Doctors at the University of Liege and is published in the November 9th, 2012 issue of the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.