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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Feb 12;2018:1827528. doi: 10.1155/2018/1827528. eCollection 2018.

A Traditional Herbal Formula Xianlinggubao for Pain Control and Function Improvement in Patients with Knee and Hand Osteoarthritis: A Multicenter, Randomized, Open-Label, Controlled Trial.

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Department of Orthopedics, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Beijing 100730, China.
Department of Orthopedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Medical School of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710004, China.
Department of Orthopaedics, First University Hospital, West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China.
Department of Osteoporosis, The Affiliated Huadong Hospital of Fudan University, Research Unit of Elderly Bone Metabolic Disease of Shanghai Geriatrics Institute, Shanghai 200040, China.
Department of Orthopaedics, Southern Medical University, Nanfang Hospital, Guangzhou 510515, China.
Second Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Affiliated Second Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, China.
Institute of Integrative Medicine, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang 050017, China.
Beijing Institute of Geriatric Diseases, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Beijing 100730, China.
Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin 200433, Hong Kong.


Evidence of efficacy of a traditional herbal formula Xianlinggubao (XLGB) for treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) is limited. The present study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of XLGB in the management of patients with knee and hand OA. This was a multicenter, stratified, open-label, randomized controlled trial conducted at six centers in China. People aged 40 or above, diagnosed with OA of the knee or hand, were randomly assigned to the XLGB treatment group or watchful waiting control group. Main outcome measures were the changes in the numeric pain rating scales (NPRS) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) or the Australian/Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index (AUSCAN) scores, from baseline to 6 months. In total 534 patients (272 to XLGB and 262 to control group) received interventions. Participants in the XLGB group exhibited significant improvement in NPRS (P < 0.001) and WOMAC score (P < 0.001) or AUSCAN score (P < 0.001) compared to control group. Treatment with XLGB at current regime significantly reduced pain and improved function of the knee and hand in patients with OA over a 6-month period, implying that XLGB could be suggested as an alternative treatment for patients with knee or hand OA.

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