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A new approach to osteoarthritis of the knee

A novel approach to osteoarthritis of the knee was revealed this past summer. The study was conducted jointly by a group of Swiss and Japanese researchers. The group investigated a small group of subjects who had osteoarthritis of the knee that was unresponsive to medication.  

This small group of subjects underwent an interventional radiology procedure that involved embolization of some arteries in the knee.  According to the researchers, “This treatment is based on the notion that increased number of blood vessels and accompanying nerves are a possible source of chronic pain and that occlusion of these abnormal vessels might reduce such pain.”

The researchers found all 14 subjects to have successful treatment just after the procedure. Twelve months later, all 14 were still deemed a success!

“From our experiences, there were two distinct time points when pain and symptoms improved”, notes the team.
One was soon after embolisation, which the researchers attributed to decreased abnormal blood flow reducing the accompanying sensory nerve stimulation.
There was also a later onset of improvement occurring several weeks or months after embolisation, which is likely to be due to a suppression of inflammation, the researchers suggest.
“Transcatheter arterial embolization might act by stopping the influx of inflammatory cells in synovial tissues and thus have a beneficial effect against inflammation and pain”, they write in Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology.

This test group was small, but the team who conducted the study feels that this may be a safe and feasible alternative treatment for those who are afflicted by this very common ailment.

Source:; wikimedia


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