Treatment may reduce cartilage damage stemming from bunions
In a study, researchers have found that a certain class of steroid hormones may prevent futher joint damage.
Bunions are characterized by inflammation of the joint in the big toe, which typically leads to the degradation of cartilage in the affected area. In a trial that was published in the journal BioMed Central, a team of scientists determined that steroid hormones known as glucocorticoids may help stave off further cartilage loss without the need for surgery.
Moreover, the researchers believe that the treatment may prevent osteoarthritis from developing in injured joints.
"Our results suggest that short-term glucocorticoid treatment after joint injury may help restore components of cartilage to preinjury levels and consequently may prevent the long term changes which lead to osteoarthritis," said researcher Alan Grodzinsky, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Authors of the study noted that complications may arise from long-term use of glucocorticoids. As a result, the treatment may be an effective complement for individuals using bunion spints or orthotics, devices meant to prevent or correct bunions or hammer toe without the need for bunion surgery.