A SIMPLE jab will ease osteoarthritis and end the need for hip and knee replacements, researchers hope.
Injections of adenosine have been found to spur the regrowth of up to 50 per cent of cartilage in rats and mice.
It brings hope for millions of sufferers, who can only numb the pain caused by the condition but not reverse it.
Researcher Prof Bruce Cronstein said: “People with osteoarthritis desperately need more treatment options with fewer side effects and our research advances that effort.”
Some 8.5million Brits have painful joints from the condition and 200,000 have new hips or knees each year.
In the latest US research, some of the lab animals were putting pressure on their joints and others had torn ligaments after piling on weight.
The damage is similar to that sustained in human osteoarthritis.
But eight weekly injections of adenosine prompted between 35 and 50 per cent of cartilage tissue regrowth in the rodents.
There were no apparent side-effects.
The experts say it is still too early to use the experimental treatment in humans.
It requires larger mammal trials.
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