Osteoarthritic hip and knee joints should be given separate medical approaches in the future.
That is the main conclusion from a study conducted by a team of scientist working at Duke University Medical Center. The work found that knee joints are in a constant state of repair, while hip joints continue to deteriorate.
"If you could capitalise on that and turn off the degradative processing you might have some good effects," said Virginia Kraus, professor of Rheumatology and Immunology at the educational establishment.
She explained that a single drug may be able to stop the breakdown process in the knee, while a "cocktail" would be needed to promote new growth in the hip joint.
The team will now investigate the level of automatic repair in the ankle joint.
According to Arthritis Research UK, 2.4 per cent of the British population suffer from osteoarthritis.