Arthritis Research UK scientists in Edinburgh have come up with a new ‘solution’ that could reduce the risk of osteoarthritis developing in tens of thousands of people who undergo orthopaedic surgery every year – sugar.
People who have surgery for joint problems are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis because the operation can damage cartilage cells.
But a team at the University of Edinburgh have found that by simply adding sugar to the saline solution used to wash out joints during orthopaedic surgery protects the cartilage from being damaged and may even improve cartilage repair.
Osteoarthritis, which affects more than eight million people in the UK, occurs when cartilage at the ends of bones wears away, leading to stiff, painful joints. There is no cure and treatment is limited to pain relief and joint replacement in severe cases.