A new drug is currently being trialled to establish whether it could be an effective treatment for knee arthritis. Administered as a jab, patients would only need to undergo one treatment a month to receive effective pain relief.
So, what is this new jab, and could it be an ideal treatment for knee arthritis? Discover everything you need to know below…
What is the LEVI-04 drug?
The new jab currently being trialled has been named LEVI-04. Developed in the UK, it utilises a new class of drugs known as Neurotrophic receptor fusion proteins. They work by targeting excess nerve cells, unlike medications such as Ibuprofen which block an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase.
There are a total of 620 people taking part in the current trial in Hong Kong and Europe. Pain levels will be measured over a period of 17 weeks, comparing the jab to a placebo treatment.
The hope is the new drug will help to delay the need for a knee replacement surgery, while easing the pain associated with arthritis.
What is knee arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, causing inflammation and pain, and weight-bearing joints such as the knee and hip are particularly susceptible. The cartilage that cushions the knee joint wears down and this can lead to symptoms such as knee pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.
The condition can be caused by a variety of factors, with the most common being Osteoarthritis. Caused by wear and tear on the joint over time, this type of arthritis is more common in older adults but can also develop due to injury or obesity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints, including the knee. Post-traumatic arthritis, as the name suggests, is caused by injury to the knee joint.
Other causes can include congenital defects, metabolic disorders, and infections. In some cases, the exact cause of knee arthritis is not known.
Existing treatments for knee arthritis
There are several treatment options for knee arthritis in the UK. These include:
- Medications: Pain relievers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy: exercises and stretches can help to improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the knee joint.
- Injections: corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid can be injected into the knee joint to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Assistive devices: such as crutches, canes, and knee braces can help to reduce the load on the knee joint and alleviate pain.
- Surgery: In advanced cases, surgery such as knee replacement may be considered.
An exciting approach to alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with knee arthritis is MBST. MBST or Molecular Biophysical Stimulation Therapy uses magnetic resonance imaging technology to stimulate cells and encourage healing.
If you are suffering with knee arthritis, book a consultation with Mr Jonathan Webb today to determine the best course of treatment.