Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012 , Vol 58 , Num 3

The Efficacy of Topical Glucosamine Sulfate-Chondroitin Sulfate in Knee Osteoarthritis Treated With Physical Therapy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

Zuhal Karakoyun 1 ,Belgin Erhan 2 ,Berrin Gündüz 2 ,Seçil Hıncal Üstünel 3 ,Ayşe Nur Bardak 4 ,Feride Savaş 5 ,Gülsün Iska 6
1 Kastamonu Rehabilitation Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kastamonu, Turkey
2 İstanbul Fiziksel Tedavi Rehabilitasyon Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Kliniği, İstanbul, Türkiye
3 Sevgi Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, Istanbul, Turkey
4 İstanbul Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Eğitim Araştırma Hastanesi, İstanbul, Türkiye
5 Istanbul Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training Hospital, 1st Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Istanbul, Turkey
6 Seydisehir State Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Konya, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.52207

Objective: To determine the efficacy of topical glucosamine on pain and functional status in patients receiving physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis (OA).


Materials and Methods: Forty-nine patients with knee OA were randomized into two groups. The first group consisted of 27 patients receiving physical therapy and topical glucosamine and the second group consisted of 22 patients receiving physical therapy and placebo, for 4 weeks. The patients and the physician were blinded to the treatment. The patients were evaluated before the treatment and at 1, 4, and 12 weeks. Demographic features, pain duration and radiological findings (Kellgren-Lawrence) were recorded; joint stiffness and physical function were evaluated by the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC).


Results: The WOMAC scores for pain, stiffness, and function were significantly improved in both groups at 1 and 4 weeks as compared to the pre-treatment period (P<0.05), however, no difference was determined between pre-treatment and 12 weeks in any of the WOMAC scores. No significant difference was demonstrated between the two groups in WOMAC scores for pain, stiffness, and function at any evaluation (P>0.05).


Conclusion: In this study, it was shown that topical glucosamine treatment combined with physical therapy in patients with knee OA had no superiority over placebo. 

Keywords : Glucosamine; knee osteoarthritis; physical therapy; WOMAC