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Arthritis triggered by knee injuries

We can all guess that those with knee injuries will me far more susceptible to complications later in life, so scientists are studying ACL injury patients for the early warning signs of arthritis...

pain free travel tipsYoung athletes in the US who have suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury are being studied in an attempt to find a method of predicting risk of later arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is degenerative and causes the breakdown of cartilage in joints. Spotting the disease in it’s earliest stages could allow for medical intervention to halt the progress of the condition. Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System are carrying out the research because seventy per cent of anterior cruciate ligament injuries suffered by young athletes lead to early knee osteoarthritis.

Medical director of MedSports Sports Medicine Program at UMHS, Dr. Edward Wojtys, voiced concern that the number of ACL injuries is increasing and that a large percentage of the young people afflicted with these injuries could find themselves living with osteoarthritis by the time they are in their late teens or early twenties.

Wojtys and his colleagues will use MRI medical imaging and biochemical techniques to look for changes in ACL sufferers knee joints. ‘If our study can identify the earliest changes in the knee joint among these young athletes, we have the hope to do something to try to prevent the ongoing progress of knee osteoarthritis’ Wojtys said.

HealthDay News, 19 August 2006

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