Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that the human parathyroid hormone, sold commercially as Forteo, meant to treat osteoporosis may also have significant benefits for individuals with osteoarthritis.
In a mouse model, the team of scientists showed that the medication was able to increase cartilage thickness by 32 percent and certain genes and molecules known to cause cartilage degeneration were suppressed.
"Given that Forteo is already FDA approved, our experimental findings make a compelling case for further clinical study of this drug in the context of arthritis," said co-author Michael J. Zuscik, Ph.D.
As with most pharmaceuticals, Forteo does come with risks. Individuals with arthritis should talk with their healthcare provider to determine whether the treatment is appropriate for them.
Bunion splints and orthotics are known to help reduce the appearance of bunions or hammer toe, which may make them a suitable addition to arthritis medications. Using the combination, individuals may be able to successfully avoid painful bunion surgery.