All posts related to "knee pain"

Youth Sport Injury and Osteoarthritis

With summer upon us, millions of Canadian youth are participating in sport activities every day. Sport and recreation is a great way for youth to get exercise, socialize, develop teamwork skills and improve mental and physical health. Unfortunately, the benefits of sport also come with the risk of injury. In fact, one in three youth aged 11-18 years will sustain a sport-related injury that requires medical attention each year, with knee and ankle injuries being the most common. Research has shown that these youth sport injuries, if not treated properly, can lead to osteoarthritis (OA) within 15 years, specifically a form known as post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Youth sport injury can also lead to obesity later in life, which happens to be another major risk factor for OA. This means that youth with 1 major risk factor for OA (joint injury) are in danger of acquiring a second risk factor for the disease (obesity).

Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints and affects more than 5 million Canadians nation-wide; the disease can cause moderate to severe pain, disability and even require surgery. Osteoarthritis symptoms generally appear 10-15 years after a joint injury, and by this time the disease is very difficult to treat. Unlike inflammatory arthritis, there are no medications to slow the disease process of osteoarthritis, so preventative measures are of even greater importance. The upside? We can ensure our youth take proper precautions to avoid injury and hugely minimize their risk of developing OA.

What can a coach or parent do to help?

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Younger patients getting knees and hips replaced. Is this an additional burden on the healthcare system?

New research shows that patients undergoing total joint replacement are younger now than they were in 2000. According to a review from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database, the average patient undergoing a total hip replacement (THR) in 2014 was 64.9 years, while the average patient in 2000 was 66.3 years. In parallel, the average patient undergoing a total knee replacement (TKR) was 65.9 in 2014, and 68.0 in 2000.

Dr. Matthew Sloan, lead researcher and orthopaedic resident at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, tells Reuters Health by email: “These differences may not seem like much, but an average decrease of two years in a pool of 1 million people is a significant difference. It’s also a meaningful difference when you take into account the fact that these total joint replacements have a finite lifespan.”

Dr. Sloan further explains: “The technology for total hip and knee replacements continues to improve. However, at some point, the implant wears out. We believe modern implants without any unforeseen complications should last 20 years or more. The problem with an increasingly younger group of patients having these procedures, it becomes more likely that the implant will wear out during their lifetime. When this happens, a second surgery is required to revise the joint replacement. These procedures are not as successful as the initial surgeries, they are bigger operations, they take longer, and now the patient is 20 years older and not as strong as they were when they had the initial procedure.”

Because a second surgery is riskier and prone to complications like early failure or infection, the goal is to wait as long as possible so that a patient will undergo one surgery in their life. Other findings presented at the American Society of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s annual meeting include: Continue reading

Fibre rich diet may prevent arthritis knee pain in older adults

According to a recent study, diets rich in fibre from plant-based foods can lower the risk of developing knee pain and stiffness due to osteoarthritis (OA) in older adults. Fibre-rich diet can also lower cholesterol, contribute to a better-controlled blood sugar, and a healthier diet.

Sources of dietary fibreOsteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that affects more than 3,200,000 Canadians – about 1 in 10. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown in cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a protein substance that acts as a cushion between bones in joints, allowing joints to function smoothly. The disease can affect any joint, but hands and weight-bearing joints—including the spine, hips and knees—are most often affected. Other joints, like shoulders, elbows, and ankles, are less likely to be affected unless the joint has been damaged by injury.

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Do you have arthritis in your knee?

knee xrayOsteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that can affect any joint, but the hands and weight-bearing joints – including the spine, hips and knees – are most often affected. This type of arthritis is commonly known as wear and tear arthritis, a disease that involves the wear and tear of the natural cushioning lining the joints. A common form of osteoarthritis is knee arthritis. Do you know what the symptoms of knee arthritis are? Below are some warning signs of knee arthritis.

1. Gradual increase in knee pain

Arthritis pain in the knees does not occur overnight, but slowly and gradually. You experience pain in your knees when you climb stairs, stand, kneel, or even sit down. If your knee pain is preventing you from a good night’s sleep, be weary that it could be arthritis.

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The OPEN Project – Participate today!

The OPEN Project – Participate today!

Would you like to test an online program to help people with knee pain be more physically active?

KneeThe OPEN (Osteoarthritis Physical Activity & Exercise Net) Project for improving physical activity in early knee osteoarthritis is now recruiting for study participants. The study is conducted with collaboration between the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University.

OPEN is an interactive website designed to help people with knee pain to be more physically active safely. You are eligible to participate if you: Continue reading

Knee replacement surgery rises for boomers

According to a government report in 2012, the rate of knee replacement surgeries has risen in the United States from 378,000 in 2003 to an estimated 704,000 in 2012 over the last decade. There is also a growing trend that people are doing these surgeries at a younger age.

The rise is in part due to the success rate of knee replacement surgeries. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams talks about his injury and upcoming knee surgery. This news report is the first reportof a three-part series about knee replacement. We hope it will assist you in your decision on whether you want to proceed with a knee surgery. Remember to communicate with your healthcare team in your decision making process.

Below are some interesting stats on knee replacement surgeries.

Knee replacement infograph

Infograph courtesy of Healthline Networks and PearlDiver Technologies

The osteoarthritis and obesity link

Uncovering the mysteries of the osteoarthritis/obesity link.Feet on scale. Obesity and its link to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) has long been thought to be caused by wear and tear; that it is due to mechanical forces, rather than biological ones.

It turns out, however, the cause and effect may not be that simple.

It is clear that obesity is a factor, since every extra 10 pounds of weight puts 40 pounds of pressure on the joints causing them to erode. But that doesn’t explain why hand osteoarthritis is twice as common in overweight people. Unlike knees, hands don’t have load bearing joints.

Research is showing other possible causes of OA:

  • Fat tissue contains pro-inflammatory endocrine factors that trigger changes in the body.
  • Lack of exercise. Regular exercise, including jogging and running, leads to cartilage thickening.

What does that mean? Weight doesn’t tell the whole story. Read this Globe and Mail article to get more details: Alex Hutchinson, The Globe and Mail, March 2013

Knee arthritis not helped by vitamin D

kneeTaking vitamin D supplements may not ease the pain that comes with knee osteoarthritis or slow down the progression of the disease, a new study shows.

The study compared patients who took the supplements with those who took placebos and found no significant differences.

Though taking vitamin D might not protect against knee osteoarthritis, maintaining a proper level of the nutrient is essential to good health.

Read more: HealthDay, January 2013

Basketball player, Brandon Roy, has level III arthritis

basketball netNBA basketball player, Brandon Roy, may have to retire from the sport this year.

Faced with the decision a year ago, he said no and came back to basketball this year.

But after finally coming to terms with his diagnosis of level III arthritis, he says of the sport, “If it ends in three weeks, it ends. It’s over. I’m totally satisfied with what I’ve done. I know the sacrifice and the effort that I put into coming back. It took a lot of discipline to get to where I am. That’s all I care about: how hard I’ve worked.”

Read more: Kurt Helin, NBC Sports, November 2012