Glucosamine Cuts Need for Joint Surgery in Half

Published: September 10, 2012

Want to avoid the need for knee surgery for arthritic joints? In this recent study, patients in the glucosamine group were less than half as likely to need knee replacement surgery as those in the placebo group.

This is an important health option. According to a recent Time Magazine article, the number of knee replacements done annually in the U.S. will jump 525% by the year 2030. This prediction comes out of a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip replacements will more than double, rising from 285,000 to 573,000. The money spent on these procedures is expected to reach $65.2 billion by 2015, putting a huge burden on federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, which pay for about 60% of U.S. joint replacements.

Meanwhile, 16,500+ Americans a year die unnecessarily from Motrin related medications taken for arthritis. I say "unnecessarily" because natural remedies, such as Willow Bark, Boswellia and Cherry are more effective than Motrin—and safer. Glucosamine and condroitin were more effective than Celebrex for moderate to severe arthritis pain in a head on study as well.

To learn how to heal your arthritic joints naturally, see "Arthritis—A 6 Week Program to Help Heal Your Achy Joints."


"Total joint replacement after glucosamine sulphate therapy in knee osteoarthritis: results of a mean 8-year observation of patients from two previous 3-year, randomised, placebo-controlled trials," Bruyere O, Pavelka K, et al, Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2008; 16(2): 254-60. (Address: Professor Olivier Bruyere, Ph.D., Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics, University of Liege, CHU Sart Tilman Bât B23, 4000 Liege, Belgium. E-mail:


In a study involving 275 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, supplementation with glucosamine sulfate for at least 12 months was found to reduce the likelihood of requiring a total joint replacement over a 5 year period. Subjects were selected from 2 previous studies in which they either received glucosamine sulfate (n=144) or a placebo (n=131) for at least 12 months, and up to 3 years. Patients were followed up with for approximately 5 years from the time the trials were terminated and the therapy was discontinued. Results found twice as many total knee replacement surgeries had occurred in the placebo group (14.5% of the group, 19 out of 131 subjects), as compared to the group of subjects who had formerly received glucosamine sulfate (6.3% of the group, 9 out of 144 subjects). The relative risk of total knee joint replacement was found to be 0.43 among subjects who formerly received glucosamine sulfate. These results were confirmed by the Kaplan Meier/Log-Rank test survival analysis, which found a significantly decreased cumulative incidence of total knee replacements in patients who had received glucosamine sulfate. Furthermore, results of a pharmaco-economic analysis of a subgroup of subjects suggested that subjects who had previously received glucosamine sulfate had less use of medications used to alleviate symptoms and less use of other health resources in general. The authors conclude, "Treatment of knee OA with glucosamine sulphate for at least 12 months and up to 3 years may prevent total joint replacement in an average follow-up of 5 years after drug discontinuation."

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

e-mail icon
Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon