Friday, November 17, 2006

Study: Botox shots could help ease knee pain in osteoarthritis patients

Those who suffer from severe knee pain may be able to get relief from Botox shots, suggests new research presented at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting this week in Washington.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota say the neurotoxin, widely known for its wrinkle-smoothing capabilities, may also be used to treat patients with severe to moderate osteoarthritis.

Some of the 37 patients involved in the six-month study were injected with Botox, while others were injected with a placebo.

After one month, the patients treated with Botox who suffered from severe pain showed a 28 per cent decrease in pain and a 25 per cent improvement in function. But the study found the injections had little effect on those with moderate pain. Two members of the placebo group dropped out of the study from lack of benefit at the end of the first month.

There will be a three-month assessment of the treatment in January and the trial is due to be completed in August.

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