For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
At UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School
New Treatment Offers Hope to Those With Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder
Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) are testing a new treatment for osteoarthritis of the shoulder that appears to effectively lubricate the joint and minimize its inflammation.
The treatment, which has been approved for knee osteoarthritis by the Food and Drug Administration since 1997, involves three injections of intra-articular sodium hyaluronate into the acromioclavicular (clavicle) joint, one of the four joints in a shoulder, according to the research team at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark.
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joint cartilage associated with secondary changes in the underlying bone, which ultimately causes severe pain and impairs the function of the affected joint. The acromioclavicular joint is the most common site of osteoarthritis in the shoulder.
The drug, known as Hyalgan and manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis of New York, works as a replacement for synovial fluid. It lubricates the acromioclavicular joint, said Dr. Todd P. Stitik, a physiatrist at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and principal investigator of the study. Hyalgan is a natural substance that is extracted from rooster combs, he noted.
"It is a non-surgical approach to a common problem that should ultimately improve shoulder motion and reduce inflammation and relieve pain by coating the pain receptors," said Dr. Stitik, associate professor of medicine at the medical school.
"It acts like oil within the joint, lubricating the joint surfaces after it has been dried out from chronic arthritis," Dr. Stitik said. The purpose of the clinical trial is to determine whether the series of treatments can provide long-term pain relief and improvement in range of motion.
Individuals who are at least 18 or older with a history of shoulder pain are potentially eligible for this clinical trial Pregnant women and those with allergies to eggs, feathers, local anesthetics or medical dye are ineligible. All subjects selected will be given a $40 cash stipend for each office visit. Those who are interested in participating in this study may contact Lisa Schoenherr, the study coordinator, at (973) 972-2822.
The UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School is one of three medical schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. UMDNJ comprises New Jersey's only medical schools, the state's only dental school, a nursing school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions and a school of public health on campuses in Newark, Piscataway/New Brunswick, Camden, Stratford and Scotch Plains. It is affiliated with more than 200 health care and educational institutions throughout the state.