MATERIALS AND METHODS
Patients diagnosed with OA by a physician were
randomly assigned to one of two topical treatment
groups in a double blind manner, receiving either
(1) a cream consisting of a blend of CFA; or
(2) a placebo cream.
The patients were tested on three occasions:
at baseline, 30 minutes after initial treatment,
and after 30-day treatment of cream application
On each test occasion the selection of assessments
and the sequence performed was (1) range of
movement, (2) the timed up-and-go, (3) stair
climbing test, (4) unilateral anterior reach,
and (5) the medial step-down test.
40 patients completed the study (n = 20 per
group; each matched group composed of 17 women
and 3 men).
The topical cream used was a proprietary compound
(Celadrin TM, Imagenetix, Inc., San Diego, CA,
USA) that consisted of a blend of cetylated
fatty acids (cetyl myristoleate, cetyl myristate,
cetyl palmitoleate, cetyl laureate, catyl palitate,
and cetyl oleate), PEG-100, state, benzyl alcohol,
lecithin, carbomer, potassium hydroxide, tocopheryl
acetate, and olive oil.
The placebo cream contained everything but the
CFA base material. The topical cream was given
to patients in coded tubes so neither the research
team involved in the testing nor the patients
knew which cream was administered.
Patients were instructed to apply a standardized
amount of cream to both knees. Cream was applied
to the anterior, posterior, and lateral aspects
of both knees over a 10-12 cm area twice per
day (at standardized morning and evening time
points following a shower for 30 days).
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
The use of a CFA topical cream is an
effective treatment for improving knee range
of movement, ability to ascend/descend stairs,
ability to rise from sitting, walk and sit down,
and unilateral balance, strength, and endurance
in patients with knee OA. A unique finding was
the immediate effect of the treatment after
the initial cream application.
The improvements with CFA were significantly
greater than placebo, showing a beneficial effect
of topical CFA application for improving timed
up-and-go performance which suggests improvements
in balance and strength (i.e. greater ability
to eccentrically flex the support leg while
maintaining body weight, stability and consequently
extend the front leg a greater distance) possible
resulting from chronic pain relief over the
30-day experimental period.
The results of this study provide support for
the use of cetylated fatty acids as part of
a pain relief treatment in patients with knee