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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin Not Recommended for Knee Arthritis

By January 26, 2013

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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.

November 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm
(1) quilter512 says:

I’ve been taking Glucosamine/Chondroitin for the past 4 years on the advice of my orthopedic surgeon. Until about 4 months ago I’d seen a marked improvement in my knee arthritis. I guess the bone on bone that I’ve experienced has finally progressed further than G/C can help alone. Last month I had my first cortisone injections. One in the right knee one week and one in the left a week later after finding that the first helped. I will have my second round in December if needed. Otherwise it will be postponed until needed. I recently had foot surgery and have been resting a good deal with my foot elevated. This may be the reason for little if any knee pain presently. I hoping that I’ll be able to postpone knee surgery at least for awhile.
A friend has just started using another G/C advertised on TV and is pleased with the results thus far ( only about a week)
Good luck to all who are considering G/C at this time.

November 3, 2009 at 9:00 pm
(2) train person says:

I have also tried it for my knee and it has done nothing for it. So after 2 months I have stoped using the G/C

November 4, 2009 at 2:14 am
(3) orthopedic man says:

That’s the spirit!

November 6, 2009 at 10:31 pm
(4) Physical Guru says:

I am currently in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the professors are still stating that it is effective for many knee problems. On top of that I have taken G/C for many months and it has been very effective. I say try it for yourself, even if it is only placebo, no negative effects, and sometimes placebo is the easiest cure to pain…

November 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm
(5) Engineer says:

I’ve used g/c for several years. Last November I decided to stop, just to see if there was any efficacy. As the holidays came and went, I lost track of this decision, but my knee pain grew steadily and gradually until about mid-January I recalled that I had stopped taking the g/c.

I started on it again immediately and over a period of a few weeks, I was moving with relatively little pain again. I don’t believe it’s a mere placebo, but I don’t believe it worx for everyone. I’m just happy it worx for me.

February 19, 2011 at 2:00 am
(6) AdamC says:

I am on my second bottle of the Joint Support + Vitamin B12 (from Dr. Max Powers) and have been using it regularly. I was afraid that I was going to have to stop exercising, which I knew wouldnt be good for my stress level or health. After a couple of weeks of using this, my knee pain has stopped and my left shoulder feels much better when I am moving it. I plan to use this regularly and recommend it to other folks with similar issues.

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