Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common joint disorder and a major socio-economic burden. Chondroitin sulfate (CS), which has chondroprotective properties, is a promising candidate for the therapeutic treatment of OA. Here, we summarize current knowledge as well as future trends of CS for the treatment of hip and knee OA.We retrospectively reviewed pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability of CS for the treatment of OA.The safety and tolerability of CS are confirmed. CS is effective, at least in part, for the treatment of OA, and its therapeutic benefits occur through three main mechanisms: 1) stimulation of extracellular matrix production by chondrocytes; 2) suppression of inflammatory mediators; and 3) inhibition of cartilage degeneration.CS is a safe and tolerable therapeutic agent for the management of OA. Its effects include benefits that are not achieved by current medicines and include chondroprotection and the prevention of joint space narrowing. Such positive effects of CS represent a breakthrough in the treatment of hip and knee OA.