New 'miracle jab' promises to ease arthritis pain - and save the NHS billions too
Summary: A new 'miracle jab' could save the NHS billions per year.
The medical breakthrough could lead to money being saved in hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Arthritis sufferers across the country are set to potentially benefit from the jab that helps regenerate cartilages and helps soften inflamed joints.
US researchers say it will mean that patients with arthritis may be able to avoid having to undergo an operation in favour of a simple shot.
Denis Evseenko, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, said: "The goal is to make an injectable therapy for an early to moderate level of arthritis."
Natalie Carter, head of research liaison and evaluation at Arthritis Research UK, said: “Although it’s still very early days, this injectable treatment could be promising for people with early onset osteoarthritis.
“This piece of research has been conducted in animals, and so it is not yet clear whether this potential therapy could be useful in humans.
“More than eight million people in the UK are living with the pain of osteoarthritis, which can have a devastating impact on everyday life, making such things as getting dressed and getting to work difficult.
“Investment in research that leads to new treatments, such as this, is key to helping these people lead the fulfilled lives they deserve.”
Prof Evseenko said: “It is not going to cure arthritis, but it will delay the progression of arthritis to the damaging stages when patients need joint replacements, which account for a million surgeries a year in the US.”
About 160,000 hip and knee replacements a year are carried out by the NHS in England and Wales, with the figure rising by roughly eight per cent annually as the population ages.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.
In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around eight million people.
It most often develops in adults who are in their late 40s or older.
It initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint.
This makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness.
Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the tendons and ligaments have to work harder.
This can cause swelling and the formation of bony spurs, called osteophytes.
In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people.
It often starts when a person is between 40 and 50 years old.
Women are three times more likely to be affected than men.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling.
The outer covering (synovium) of the joint is the first place affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint's shape. This may cause the bone and cartilage to break down.
The symptoms of arthritis you experience will vary depending on the type you have.
This is why it's important to have an accurate diagnosis if you have joint pain, tenderness and stiffness, inflammation in and around the joints, restricted movement of the joints, warm, red skin over the affected joint, weakness and muscle wasting.
Source: Derby Telegraph
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