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Usha asked...

Knee replacement surgery replaced by injection?

There was an article on your website last year, it wrote about how knee replacement surgery was being replaced by an injection which restores the lost fluid that causes the bones to grind together.

Apparently this is being trailed in America and isn't available in the uk. please would you email the article and developments there may have been since this article?

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The answer

The article you refer to is available here titled, Lubricant 'may prevent arthritis'.

A protein called lubricin found in the synovial fluid of joints has been shown to be an essential component in the regeneration of the protective articular cartilage within joints. Even if all the other components of normal joint fluid are present, the lack of lubricin will allow cartilage cells to die off quicker, leading to defects in the protective covering of the bone surfaces within the joints.

In animal studies it has been found that the lack of this protein leads to quicker onset of osteoarthritis. This finding has great potential for developments in the treatment of osteoarthritis but its use as an accepted treatment in humans with arthritis is some way off.  New studies will help in the understanding of lubricin's mechanism of action and the process of osteoarthritis.

Answered by Dr Alistair Wright.


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