Dr. Steinmann shares whether or not glucosamine and chondroitin help ease thumb arthritis.
Those materials are the building blocks of cartilage and a lot of my patients come in whether they have shoulder arthritis, elbow arthritis or hand arthritis, questioning whether they should be taking those medicines, and from what we understand from those types of medicines, they are very safe from a safety standpoint as far as they don’t have any other side effects or cross reactions.
So I think it’s reasonable to take those medicines for thumb arthritis if the patient feels that they are getting some benefit from that. We have to understand that there’s no scientific evidence that shows that those type of medicines have an effect on thumb arthritis, but if a patient thinks it’s helping them, I am on favor of that.
Basically a way to look at it is those are the building blocks, but you can supply the building blocks, but your body has to then use it to make cartilage or to keep the cartilage healthy and that’s the part we don’t quite have scientific proof of yet.
About Dr. Steinmann, M.D.:
Dr. Scott P. Steinmann, M.D., is on orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minnesota. Dr. Steinmann received his medical training from Cornell University Medical College in New York, completed his residency in orthopedics at New York Orthopedic Hospital and completed a fellowships focusing on the shoulder and hand surgery from Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine respectively.