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the Chondroitin Sulfate Controversy
Dr. Lionberger's Response

May 2009

I normally support everything American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) details and discusses on its webpage for educational purposes. However, I feel they have not represented a complete story on the medication Chondroitin Sulfate. First of all, there are just simply too many articles suggesting the efficacy or effectiveness of this medication. Some of these are Level I trials, which is actually felt to be the benchmark in scientific evidence. There is a plethora of additional articles which are not to that caliber, but represent in volume a massive number of patients with which one can draw conclusions regarding the response this medication can create.

Dr. Lionberger's Response to The Chondroitin Sulfate Controversy

The AAOS, however, has placed their decision on smaller studies which I think needs to be re-evaluated. I have enclosed an article that outlines their rationale and discussion quite completely and understandably, while also defining potential oversights.

Please draw your own conclusions, but as I continue to prescribe this in the office (indifference to my academy's recommendation) I felt it prudent to discuss my reasoning. Quite simply, in my practice, this medication continues to be very valuable in the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms for many patients as an alternative to surgery.