Thumbs Up For New Pain Relieving Treatment

Fox 4 - Florida—June 10, 2010

In this world of computers, video games and texting, you knew this was coming: an epidemic of sore thumbs! Now a breakthrough treatment could help. Until now, it's been a treatment usually aimed at the knees.

"There's two higher joints, but the one we're talking about is that one that really is almost down near the wrist," said Dr. Lisa Mandl, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and lead investigator of the trial.

Mild cases of this 'wear and tear' condition are treated with over the counter pain relievers, cortisone shots, or stabilizing splints.
"The problem is not everyone gets better with those treatments, and some people, especially older people, they can't take medicines like non-steroidals" said Dr. Mandl.

Dr. Mandl is exploring an alternative - injections of hyaluronic acid, which is a treatment approved for arthritic knees.
“You know, here's another injectable therapy that you don't have to take throughout your system, that's a local treatment that might work in this joint," says Dr. Mandl.

It's a placebo controlled study, so neither doctor nor patient knows who gets what.

"It's great if you feel good a week or two later, but we really want to know does this work for some months? So we follow you for six months to see how you are doing," said Dr. Mandl.

The study is still recruiting patients. To participate, you must be able to travel to Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City for treatment and follow-up.

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