The theory is that by taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements, one may deter the progression of osteoarthritis ( the wearing away of articular cartilage). Reports in the literature show mixed results regarding whether these supplements do accomplish that goal. However, some patients have experienced that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate seem to provide a natural anti-inflammatory effect, with decreased swelling and pain.
In the case of your husband, who has had bilateral shoulder and hip replacements, the supplements may be helpful for his non-prosthetic joints, such as the knees. However, the supplements would only minimally benefit the artificial joints. In addition, considering your husband's history of kidney transplantation, it would be wise to consult with his primary care physician or nephrologist regarding glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate use and the impact on the renal system.