Researchers from Federal University of São Paulo—Paulista School of Medicine, Brazil, report that injecting ozone gas into the knee reduces pain and improves functioning and quality of life in people with knee osteoarthritis. The findings were presented last week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Ozone is a naturally occurring gas consisting of 3 atoms of oxygen. The study was intended to test its efficacy as an agent to reduce inflammation and balance free radicals in the body. Osteoarthritis is characterized by thinning, irregular cartilage that results in joint pain and stiffness. Joints that are subject to repeated activity or weight bearing, including hips, knees, hand, and spine, are most susceptible.
In the current study 98 subjects were assigned to receive 10 mL injections of ozone or 10 mL of air as placebo. Participants were evaluated for pain, functional change, mobility, and other quality of life indicators. Assessments were taken at the start of the study, at the 4th and 8th injections, and at 8 weeks after the last injection. The cohort on ozone therapy demonstrated significantly improved results in all measured parameters throughout the course of the study. The authors additionally comment that ozone therapy may be effective in delaying the need for joint replacement surgery in patients with knee OA.
Read a news story about the study here.
The meeting abstract may be read here.
Access the painweek.org library of information on knee OA, here.