According to the recently published guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), glucosamine and chondroitin should not be prescribed for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are nutritional supplements that are sold over-the-counter in pharmacies, grocery stores, and health food stores. The supplements have been thought to help stimulate cartilage healing and repair in patients with osteoarthritis.
The recommendations from the AAOS cite six randomized clinical trials that have investigated the use of these nutritional supplements, either alone or combined, that found no significant clinical benefit when compared to placebo. While no harmful effects of these nutritional supplements were noted, the AAOS advises that these supplements not be used in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
Richmond, JC "AAOS adopts clinical practice guidelines on OA Knee" American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2009.