Dr Naveen Bhadauria offers effective treatment for arthritis, which includes steroid joint injections that provide relief from injury or arthritis pain. However, Dr Bhadauria and his team work at the forefront of cutting-edge research into inflammatory health conditions and keep abreast of new developments in the field of rheumatology.
It is always exciting to hear about new medical treatments, and a new clinical trial of a once-a-month jab to treat arthritis in the knee looks promising. The trial is being conducted at medical research centres in Europe and Hong Kong over 17 weeks on more than 600 test subjects with knee osteoarthritis as an alternative option to taking ibuprofen, which carries mild side effects.
The new medication works by blocking a compound the body releases that triggers nerve cell pain, dampening the intensity of pain felt in the knee joint. The new UK-developed drug is hoped to be effective in treating other chronic pain conditions too, which further trials will help to determine.
Who could benefit from monthly injections?
Those with osteoarthritis or arthritis of the knee resulting from age and general wear and tear of the joint may benefit from the new once-a-month painkilling injections. Arthritis of the knee occurs when the protective cartilage that surrounds the end of the bones wears down, causing pain and inflammation in the joint.
Patients diagnosed with arthritis find it difficult to move their knee joints as the ends of the bones rub against each other, causing pain and swelling around the joint. The knee is most likely to be affected by arthritis, accounting for just over half of all cases of the condition.
Dr Bhadauria offers private consultations at his London-based clinics for anyone seeking an accurate diagnosis of painful muscle or joint conditions that don’t seem to get better over time or are steadily worsening.
An effective treatment plan for managing arthritic knees can include steroid joint injections in the knee to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. The injection begins working within a few days, and you can get relief from pain for many weeks or months.
However, it is recommended that individuals take no more than three steroid joint injections in one year in the same area. In addition, pain sufferers should wait six months between taking injections. The new once-a-month knee injection could offer patients another way to manage their knee pain without having to wait months between treatments.
Is the new injection better than ibuprofen?
The most effective current treatments are aimed at reducing pain and inflammation. These can include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. However, ibuprofen carries the risk of developing stomach ulcers in some patients.
The new once-a-month knee injection, known as LEVI-04, was developed by Levicept, a UK-based drug company working on a new class of medications known as neurotrophin receptor fusion proteins. Ibuprofen blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), which leads to anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. These new-style medications work differently from traditional painkillers and target a compound called nerve growth factor (NGF).
NGF boosts the growth and maintenance of nerve cells, which transmit messages to the brain about pain and temperature. Blocking NGF can help to reduce pain, but it may interfere with other vital functions such as nerve growth and repair. However, the new medication has been engineered to only target excess nerve cells, leaving enough for healthy repair and growth.
There are hopes that the new once-a-month injection of LEVI-04 could delay the need for joint replacement surgery in patients. The research team behind the new medication believe it shows promising results as an alternative to ibuprofen for patients with crippling knee and hip arthritis that currently take several tablets at different times of the day.
However, you must get a proper diagnosis of your inflammatory joint condition to confirm the cause and rule out any other reasons for your symptoms. Many musculoskeletal conditions share the same or similar symptoms, so it can be common for people to think they have one health condition, but it turns out to be something else.
You can book a private consultation with Dr Naveen Bhadauria at one of his London-based clinics. If you have any questions about current treatment options for arthritis, contact us, and we will be happy to talk you through your options.