New Theories About Knee OsteoarthritisComputer technology combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has changed the way we think about knee osteoarthritis (OA). New models of knee function have been proposed. Better understanding of how muscles work with ligaments to stabilize the knee joint is changing how we treat this problem.
In this review editorial, Dr. Torry summarizes the work of Anderson, Pandy, and Shelburne, well-known names in research of the knee. Specific information is reviewed about how muscle imbalances or weaknesses can affect the load placed on the knee joint.
It is these factors along with the fact that cartilage in the knee joint has no direct blood supply that eventually leads to the damaging effects of OA. Changes in treatment based on this new information have brought two areas into focus.
First, there's new appreciation for the need to screen patients carefully for treatment. Choosing the right patients for surgery can help ensure good results. New ways to surgically treat chondral defects of the knee have made it possible to repair and restore joint cartilage. Chondral refers to the interface of the cartilage with the first layer of bone under the cartilage in the knee.
And secondly, the role of physical therapy for patients with knee OA has been highlighted. Finding ways to reduce load on the knee and preventing the progression of OA is the focus of much of today's research efforts.
Michael R. Torry, PhD. Scientific and Clinical Advances Leading to Improved Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. February 2008. Vol. 40. No. 2. Pp. 191-192.
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