Reported January 2002

Shoulder Pain Relief

CLEVELAND (Ivanhoe Newswire) - The most flexible joint in our body is the shoulder. Unfortunately, this flexibility is also a liability. It makes the shoulder prone to injury. More than 40 million Americans develop some form of arthritis. Currently there is no cure, but relief may be on the way.

As CFO of a $500 million corporation, John Grampa is always on the go. Phone calls, impromptu meetings - not much slows him down.

"Always folks comment that I don't know how to relax or rest," says Grampa.

However, osteoarthritis in his shoulder forced john do a little less.

He says, "Simple things like using my right arm to wash a car, can't do."

Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage that cushions the joint wears away. The result can be bone against bone.

Rheumatologist Michele Hooper, M.D., is looking for a way to treat the injured joint.

"HA may be able to restore some of this health to the joint and provide, first and foremost, pain relief," says Hopper, of the University Hospitals of Cleveland.

HA is hyaluronic acid. It works like a lubricant, plus it has other benefits. Dr. Hooper says, "It contributes to the nourishment, the wellness of cartilage, and it protects it from the outside molecules that might be harmful to it."

HA has shown success in knees. Now doctors are testing it in the shoulder.

"We'll actually freeze the skin right out here and with the same needle, then inject the shoulder joint itself with HA," says Dr. Hopper

With surgery as his only other option, Grampa is putting his money on the new treatment. He says, "If it's successful in the knee, there seems to be no logical reason why it wouldn't help someone with a shoulder problem."

The study is taking place at 50 medical centers around the country. Study participants will receive injections of HA once a week for five weeks. Side effects may include fluid build-up and heat or redness at the injection site.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Michele Hooper, M.D.
University Hospitals of Cleveland
11100 Euclid Ave., Foley 201
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 844-6007