Medical ozone therapy as a potential treatment modality for regeneration of damaged articular cartilage in osteoarthritis

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2018 May;25(4):672-679. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.02.002. Epub 2016 Feb 9.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common degenerative joint disease and a growing health problem affecting more than half of the population over the age of 65. It is characterized by inflammation in the cartilage and synovium, resulting in the loss of joint structure and progressive damage to the cartilage. Many pro-inflammatory mediators are elevated in OA, including reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Damaged articular cartilage remains a challenge to treat due to the limited self-healing capacity of the tissue and unsuccessful biological interventions. This highlights the need for better therapeutic strategies to heal damaged articular cartilage. Ozone (O3) therapy has been shown to have positive results in the treatment of OA; however the use of O3 therapy as a therapeutic agent is controversial. There is a perception that O3 is always toxic, whereas evidence indicates that when it is applied following a specified method, O3 can be effective in the treatment of degenerative diseases. The mechanism of action of O3 therapy in OA is not fully understood and this review summarizes the use of O3 therapy in the treatment of damaged articular cartilage in OA.

Keywords: Articular cartilage; Osteoarthritis (OA); Ozone (O3) therapy; Reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Publication types

  • Review