knee arthritis surgery London

How exercise can help with knee arthritis

The last thing you might feel like doing in the aftermath of a knee OA procedure is to kickstart a workout programme, but two separate studies released last month pointed out that you should only sit on the sofa with your leg up for so long.

The first study – from Queen Mary University in London and published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage – has demonstrated that mechanical forces experienced by cells in joints during exercise prevent cartilage degradation, by suppressing the action of inflammatory molecules which cause osteoarthritis.

Squash the pain away

 

As the study points out, exercise – even the simple stuff, such as a brisk walk – ‘squashes’ the cartilage in joints such as the hip and knee. And this mechanical distortion is detected by the living cells in the cartilage, which then blocks the action of inflammatory molecules associated with conditions such as arthritis.

The researchers are hoping that these findings will help in the search for treatments for arthritis, which affects over three million people in the UK. And the researchers are even suggesting that the results may lead to a whole new therapeutic approach known as mechano-medicine, in which drugs simulate the effect of mechanical forces to prevent the damaging effects of inflammation and treat conditions such as arthritis.

Future complications? Walk them off

But what about the risks of agitating a post-op knee with exercise? Well, the other study – compiled by Northwestern University in Chicago – claims that there is no direct link between knee pain and daily walking, or other forms of low-intensity exercise. Furthermore, people with knee OA who undertook less than ten minutes of brisk walking per day are boosting their chances of preventing disability in later life.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, involved 1,500 people between the ages of 49 and 83 from the rolls of America’s Osteoarthritis Initiative, who were given accelerometers and tracked between 2008 and 2014. And according to their findings, the research team found that those who managed less than ten minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day found it easier to perform daily tasks than those who lived a more sedentary lifestyle.

When the exercise levels were raised a notch, the findings were even more positive: participants who managed an hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day had an 85% reduced risk of mobility disability – which was defined by the researchers as being unable to safely cross the street in time – and a 45% reduction of daily living disability, which is defined as having difficulty in bathing and dressing without help.

Speaking as someone affected by knee arthritis, I can vouch for the benefits of exercise as a coping mechanism, as it has definitely helped my knee. After a year of strength training, I’ve got to the point where I have been able to run 4K – with minimal aftereffects, I might add. Given that I was on the point of undergoing knee replacement prior to this, I feel the results are pretty impressive – and if you’re in the same boat as me, I’d advise you to embrace an exercise regime under the guidance of your doctor or knee specialist.

diet and knee osteoarthritis

Could a low carb diet relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis?

We know all about the pros and cons of a low-carb diet: on the plus side, it’s the best way to kickstart fast weight loss – and weight loss in the best places, such as the abdomen. It also increases the levels of HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ cholesterol), whilst decreasing blood sugar and insulin levels, and may even help lower blood pressure.

But according to a new report from the University of Alabama, which has been published in the Pain Medicine journal, there may be another incentive to dump the carbs, particularly if you have knee problems: a randomised controlled study they conducted recently points to the possibility that a low-carb diet could relieve pain for people who have knee osteoarthritis, particularly if you’re up there in years.

While there are medical and procedural ways to deal with knee OA, they’re costly to health bodies and can bring on side-effects for the patient – which means that the global medical community is now focusing attention on the beneficial links between a low carb diet and knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

Three diets, one outcome

The study, led by Dr Robert Sorge, Director of the PAIN Collective in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Psychology, involved 21 adults aged between 65 and 75 who suffered from knee OA. One group of seven were put on a low-carb diet; the others were split into a group which took part in a low-fat diet regime, while the remaining seven continued their regular diet.

Every three weeks into the 12-week study, the research team analysed the participants’ functional pain — the pain they endured while undertaking daily tasks — as well as their self-reported pain, quality of life, and level of depression. They also took blood samples and examined them for oxidative stress – the chemical imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s antioxidant properties, which is seen as a useful marker of biological ageing.

Less carbs, less pain?

The results? According to the research team, the group in the low-carb group reported a reduction in functional pain levels and levels of self-reported pain, when compared to the groups on the low-fat and regular diets. Not only that, but the participants in the low-carb diet also showed less oxidative stress and lower levels of leptin, a hormone with important metabolic functions.

“Our work shows that people can reduce their pain with a change in diet,” said Dr Sorge. “Many medications for pain cause a host of side effects that may require other drugs to reduce. The beneficial side effects of our diet may be things such as reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and weight loss — something many drugs cannot claim.”

While it’s clear that further study is required – preferably with a much bigger sample group – I think this could be very interesting. An amazing physiotherapist I work with is on a crusade to promote low carb dieting in the recovery phase. I’m starting to wonder if cutting out the carbs and switching to low carbs such as lean meats, fish, eggs, leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, nuts, seeds, nut butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and dairy products (and even tofu and tempeh) – is the way forward, both to recommend to my patients but also to adopt myself and combat my own knee osteoarthritis.

ACL reconstruction in female athletes

Higher rate of knee injuries found in female athletes after ACL reconstruction

We’ve already discussed data emanating from the USA about the higher rate of ACL injuries amongst female athletes when compared to their male counterparts – and a new study from over the Atlantic not only confirms that, but also reveals even more alarming information.

According to the study, which was recently published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, a higher rate of new ACL injuries and other new knee injuries occurred among female soccer players who underwent ACL reconstruction when compared with data culled from their female knee-healthy counterparts.

In their study, the research team matched 117 active female football players who had undergone ACL reconstruction with 119 knee-healthy female soccer players from the same teams and tracked their progress over two years, encouraging the participants to answer a web-based questionnaire that addressed their participation in soccer, and logged new acute-onset or non-traumatic injuries to either knee, or injury to other body locations. They also graded the participants’ current activity level according to the Tegner Activity Scale – both at baseline and at the end of the two-year follow-up.

A traumatic result for ACL victims

The results showed an almost fivefold higher incidence of new ACL injuries, and a seven-times higher incidence of knee injury treated with surgery among players who underwent ACL reconstruction, compared to their healthier counterparts. During the two-year follow-up, the research team discovered that 62% of players who underwent ACL reconstruction gave up the sport, compared with 36% of patients in the control group.

Furthermore, a greater satisfaction with knee function was found among the control group at baseline and follow-up, while the research team noted no differences in the rate of other injuries between the two groups.

“Our results point to an unacceptably high rate of new traumatic and non-traumatic knee injuries among female soccer players with [ACL reconstruction] ACLR,” the authors commented: “High-quality research is required to identify which factors increase or decrease the risk for sustaining additional knee injuries. This information may subsequently help to inform the development and implementation of injury prevention strategies.”

Are the results alarming for female athletes with ACL injuries?

My concern is when patients get self-selected by presentation. A significant proportion of ACL injured patients are those who were at high risk from the beginning, because of unfavourable constitutional mechanics. Having selected themselves, by definition, they are unfortunately at higher risk of it happening again despite potentially ‘successful’ and well-performed surgery. Throw into that the poor guidance on achieving the requisite return to sport, in a field which is still in its infancy, and you have quite a potent cocktail.

If you’re concerned you’re suffering from an ACL tear and want to arrange a consultation with Mr Jonathan Webb at either his London or Bristol clinic, call 0203 195 2443.

knee replacement longevity

New data reveals your knee replacement could last longer than previously thought

Knee replacement surgery has become one of the most common procedures performed in the UK, with nearly 200,000 of them performed in England and Wales alone in 2017, and for good reason – we have an ageing population who still want to stay active for the rest of their life. We know what they do, we’re making technological breakthroughs year upon year, and we know they work – but we’re still a little in the dark when it comes to their longevity, as the procedure is still in its relative infancy and there has been very little data on their long-term effects.

Well, that’s starting to change. And according to a comprehensive study on knee and hip replacement surgery conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol, there’s a lot more life in the replacements than first thought. The study harvested data from Australia, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden – countries which have kept records of procedures over 15 years – and combed the details of over half a million procedures.

Their conclusions: as many as eight out of ten knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements last as long as 25 years.

A replacement that doesn’t need replacing?

The findings, which were published in The Lancet, demonstrated that hip and knee replacements are lasting much longer than originally believed. When it came to total knee replacements, the study concluded that 93% of them lasted 15 years, 90% lasted 20 years, and 82% lasted 25 years and over. Interestingly, partial knee replacements don’t last as long: 77% of them lasted 15 years, 72% lasted 20 years, and 70% lasted over 25 years.

According to the research team, these findings can help patients and surgeons decide upon the optimum time for surgery. “At best, the NHS has only been able to say how long replacements are designed to last, rather than referring to actual evidence from multiple patients’ experiences of joint replacement surgery,” said Dr Jonathan Evans, the lead study author and research fellow at Bristol Medical School. “Given the improvement in technology and techniques in the last 25 years, we expect that hip or knee replacements put in today may last even longer.”

While UK data wasn’t used in the research – simply because our record of patients does not go back far enough – the research team pointed out that their findings matched results from smaller studies of UK patients.

Good news for new knees

This is a very important development because it could force the medical community to rethink its position on replacement surgery. At present, the way of thinking is to delay the procedure until absolutely necessary, in order to avoid a replacement of the replacement down the line. Therefore, if the initial replacement is capable of holding up for far longer than first thought, it means that hip and knee replacements can be prescribed earlier in life.

And on a personal note, as I’m looking to have my own knee replaced in the next year or so, the thought of my replacement lasting a quarter of a century is great news. And I’m predicting that the replacements we’re putting in with the aid of the MAKO robot – which are better balanced – should last even longer.

For more information on the benefits of robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery, call 0203 195 2443 to arrange a consultation at Mr Jonathan Webb’s London knee clinic.

Knee Joint Injury

How a knee joint injury leads to knee arthritis

With Dylan Hartley being ruled out of the Six Nations with what his club called ‘grumbly knee’ and his doctor pinpointed as something worse, the spotlight shines once again on sporting knee injuries – and their knock-on effects. And a new study bears out the undeniable link between knee injuries of today and the problems it can bring on tomorrow; pinpointing the effect that knee injuries can have on the joint, and why it can lead to knee osteoarthritis later in life.

The study – a collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – demonstrates that articular cartilage degenerates specifically around injury areas when the fluid flow velocity becomes excessive. The findings, which were reported in Scientific Reports, presented a new mechanobiological model for cartilage degeneration, by implementing tissue deformation and fluid flow as mechanisms for cartilage breakdown when a normal dynamic loading – such as walking – is applied to the joint.

A new model that could make a real difference

The researchers discovered that different mechanisms, such as fluid flow and tissue deformation, have the potential to cause cartilage degradation after a knee injury. According to the research team, fluid flow and tissue deformation are plausible mechanisms leading to osteoarthritis, but increased fluid flow from cartilage seems to be better in line with the experiments.

Why is this important? Because this new model could be used to predict osteoarthritis in personal medicine, which would be a huge boost to the medical community: if doctors can be armed with more refined data, they could have a better shot at mapping out the best possible rehabilitation protocol. Furthermore, this model could identify high and low-risk lesions in the cartilage for osteoarthritis development and suggest an optimal and individual rehabilitation protocol.

“Our findings indicate that after an injury in the knee and subsequent tissue loading, osteoarthritis is caused by easy leakage of proteoglycans through the injury surface by high fluid outflow,” Gustavo A. Orozco of the University of Eastern Finland explains.

Taking a knee to long-term problems

Obviously, this isn’t going to help Dylan in the short term – and, like other athletes who have succumbed to knee injury, he is highly likely to suffer the consequences of arthritis as a result of his injury. In a 2017 study of retired rugby players studying concussion, the secondary outcome was that there was a high prevalence of arthritis, due to the fast, hard-contact nature of the sport and the stress it places on the knees.

And as we know, not only do knee injuries have the potential to cause osteoarthritis in the future, but so can the operations to put knee injuries right, including cruciate ligament repair and meniscectomy procedures.

Therefore, any new developments in the field of knee treatment are to be welcomed in both the short and long term – not only for the benefit of the sport, but for the athletes concerned when they are long into their retirement.

stem cell treatment for knee osteoarthritis

Could your knee heal itself?

With an ageing population that doesn’t – or isn’t allowed to – slow down as they get older, there’s never been more time, expertise and effort being exerted into the problem of knee osteoarthritis. Barely a month goes by these days without a new development in this area, but the latest research has raked up a whole new approach – a device which sweeps up stem cells from the joint lining and then ‘brushes’ them into blood clots. Why? Because stem cells have the ability to form new tissue and have the potential to let the knee heal itself.

The study, from the University of Leeds, has not only demonstrated that the treatment increases the number of repair cells in the area by a hundredfold, but it also casts doubt upon arthroscopy – the keyhole procedure which examines and clears out knee damage – as it may actually inadvertently sluice out the resident stem cells that are capable of repairing knees.

Break up to make up

The key discovery made by the Leeds research team involved the technique of microfracture, which involves using a drill or pick to make small holes in the bone surfaces inside the joint to release stem cells which are trapped in blood clots, and contribute to the repair of the cartilage. The downside to this is that it had been assumed that the number of repair stem cells in the knee is low.

However, the research team discovered that the synovial fluid – which lubricates the joints – contains stem cells too, but the self-same lubrication was stopping the cells from bonding to injured cartilage, and the standard knee procedures were washing them away. So, they’re currently trialling a procedure which creates a microfracture, which results in a clot – followed by a specially designed device which ‘rakes’ the stem cells into the clot, which is inserted through a small hole which has been made in the joint.

A new trial forthcoming

And according to the study, which was published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, the researchers found that the brush resulted in a 105-fold increase in the number of stem cells. The results have been so encouraging that a new trial is already being prepared, which will involve twenty patients undergoing the microfracture procedure, with ten of them having the stem cell ‘raking’ procedure as well.

Unsurprisingly, the knee OA medical community are sitting up and taking notice, while also striking a note of caution that self-healing knees are still a way away.“Stem cells still represent an exciting area of research for providing a biological solution to knee injury and arthritis,” explains Mr Jonathan Webb. “Several lines of treatment are being studied but it remains an enormous challenge to reliably replicate the complex structure of articular cartilage. For younger athletes with an injury to an otherwise healthy joint, there is more promise, whereas in the older population the damage goes deeper than just the layer of joint surface and so stem cells have not yet proven to be as reliable.” But it’s fair to say that this development is an interesting step forward for knee OA treatment, and one that will be followed with great interest.

skiing knee injuries

The silver skier: how to keep skiing in your sixties and beyond

More and more people over 60 are taking to skiing, and there are more reasons for that than you’d first assume. People in that age group nowadays tend to have the time and money to be able to ski – and what’s more, they’re far more active than earlier generations of that age group. There are legitimate health reasons for taking up skiing late in life, too: it can be a huge boost to upper-body and core strength, as well as helping with memory and brain health – and it’s a far better way to spend your golden years than being stuck on the sofa.

And the good news for the older skier – whatever your level and experience – is that you are clearly not alone. The skiing industry is well aware of the boom in older skiers, with websites, clothing, kits, and lessons aimed at the more mature end of the market, with plenty of ski clubs in that age range, meaning you don’t be discouraged from taking to the slopes and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits of skiing.

However, it can’t be stressed enough: skiing can be a risky pursuit, and it doesn’t get any safer as you age. And when you’re at an age when you feel less indestructible than you did before, those injuries can mount up if you’re not careful. According to recent statistics, the majority of injuries on the slopes happen to older skiers, and when you’re older, the recovery times get longer.

(Oh, and before we talk about how to get over the hill without permanently retiring from the piste, the obvious question is: Is it too late to start skiing? In a word, and according to the experts, no. As long as you’re reasonably fit – or at least not massively unfit – and not carrying any debilitating injuries or ailments, it’s never too late to take the sport up.)

Get checked out

Your first step is to visit your GP, state your intentions, and listen to them. They’ll be able to advise you on your current level of fitness, and either give you the go-ahead, help you draw up a plan of action to get you ready to ski, or rule it out completely. Don’t be afraid to bring your intentions up: by and large, they’ll be glad to hear you intend to take up skiing, as they know what comes next…

Get ready to exercise

Whatever your experience level, you can’t just walk off the street onto the slopes: you’ll need to embark upon a low-level exercise regime that’ll include, stretches, half-squats, lunges, leg curls and crunches, with light, low-rep weight training thrown in. Avoid the heavy stuff – the goal is to ease your joints into coping with the bending and balance issues that skiing throws up.

Get the right gear

If you’re a beginner, this is necessary. If you’re returning to the sport after a long break, it’s equally necessary, because the gear has got better and safer. Try out the shorter, wider skis – they help enormously with turning. Get acquainted with the new boots, because they’re far better in preventing injury than the ones you wore twenty years ago. And make sure everything fits.

Be realistic

Sad to say, whatever your level of experience, the days of going off-piste may be over. Your first experience at a resort should be in an instruction workshop, to get (re)acquainted with the right techniques

Fatigue, loss of concentration and alcohol consumption can all increase the risk of incurring an injury, one-third of which affect the knee, so it is important that you don’t overtire yourself or enjoy the social aspect of skiing too much. If you do suffer from a knee injury – typically a meniscal or anterior cruciate ligament tear – it doesn’t mean that your skiing days are over, but seeking treatment from a knee specialist as soon as possible is a must.

massage and knee arthritis symptoms

Could a whole body massage improve knee arthritis symptoms?

We’re all aware of the many benefits a session with the masseuse can bring, whether you’re coming off an injury or not: as well as reducing pain and stiffness, it can improve the circulation, reduce stress, anxiety and depression, remove dead skin cells and even provide a boost to the functionality of the immune system. But according to research from North Carolina, a full-on rub-down can also have beneficial properties for those suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

According to the study, which was conducted by researchers from the Duke University of Medicine in Durham, NC, a weekly, whole-body massage for two months could help knee OA sufferers experience ‘significant improvement’ in pain and mobility, and that massage could offer a safe and effective complement to the management of knee osteoarthritis, at least in the short term.

Could a knead improve your knees?

The study – which lasted a year –involved 200 patients who suffered from knee osteoarthritis, who were randomly divided into three groups – one group which received a one-hour, weekly Swedish massage for eight weeks (a technique which uses long strokes, circular movements of applied pressure, and kneading in order to relax muscles, reduce soreness, and increase oxygen flow), one group which received a light-touch control treatment, and one group which received no extra care other than their usual regimen.

After eight weeks, each of the groups were again randomised into three separate groups, to continue with massage or light-touch every other week, or to receive no treatment for the remainder of the study, for the rest of the year. Every two months, each study group was medically assessed for pain, stiffness and functional limitations, including how well they could climb stairs, stand up from sitting or lying down, bend, walk or get out of a car.

There’s the rub

The results? After just eight weeks, the group undergoing massage had significantly improved scores over the other two groups, with a marked improvement in pain reduction, stiffness reduction, and physical function. And by the end of the study, the twice-monthly massage group maintained the improvements observed at eight weeks, but did not provide an additional benefit, with no significant differences between the groups at 52 weeks.

Why could regular massage relieve knee OA? The jury is still out on that one, but America’s Arthritis Foundation speculates that a session on the table can take the edge off all manner of arthritis ailments due to the fact that it’s a proven stress reliever, which has the potential to reduce cortisol levels, as well as boost the production of endorphins. Having relaxed muscles as a result of massage could be a key point, but the links between massage and reduced knee OA are still a mystery to the medical community.

Whatever the reason, a regular massage session could be the ticket for the reduction of knee pain, but you should be cautious if you have very damaged arthritic joints, a flare of inflammation, severe osteoporosis or high blood pressure. Your knee surgeon can advise you on whether massage is an appropriate treatment for you.

knee injury risk

Why your cushioned trainers might actually be increasing your knee injury risk

Thinking of kickstarting a healthier lifestyle through running this year? Planning to ramp up your fitness regime? Or just looking to upgrade your kit? When it comes to running, footwear is often the most important consideration and there are a lot of options out there when it comes to trainers. The most tempting options on the market can be those with highly cushioned soles, as at first glance, the benefits are obvious: more cushioning in the sole means less jarring on the knees, right?

Well, according to a study recently conducted by Finnish researchers, extra-cushioned trainers may be doing more harm than good: not only did the researchers find any evidence that proves bouncier soles prevent injuries, but they can also lead to an increased risk of knee damage over time.

More spring, more sting?

The study, conducted by a research team from the University of Helsinki, took a dozen dedicated runners – all healthy, and all with a professional background – and put them through a 3D running analysis while wearing two different trainers: the Hoka Conquest (which has a 43mm cushion beneath the heel), and the Brooks Ghost 6, (which boasts a 33mm cushion). The study group jogged at both 10km per hour and 14.5km per hour.

According to the results, which were published in Scientific Reports, the difference between running habits in both trainers was literally striking: they revealed that the runners’ feet hit the ground harder when they were wearing the cushioned trainers – particularly at the faster speed of 14.5km per hour, where the load impact in the more cushioned trainer was 12.3 per cent greater than in the less cushioned pair.

It doesn’t get better in the long run

When the video analysis was consulted, the reason why was clear: it demonstrated that the runners bent their knees and ankles less when they wore the cushioned shoes, which caused their bodies to slow down quicker and placed extra stress on their legs. In other words, the feeling of extra cushioning lulled the runners into a false sense of security, caused them to subconsciously unlearn good running technique, and essentially altered the natural spring-like mechanism in their legs which ensures we bend our knees and ankles to create a bouncing movement.

This ‘unlearning’ causes runners to land with a stiffer leg, which ramps up the risk of knee injuries, and can store up a welter of problems for runners of all experience levels. For the professional, it can unravel a technique which has taken years to perfect and hone: for the beginner, it can set you on the path to poor fundamentals right from the off. In all cases, stiffer leg technique ramps up the risk of stress fractures.

While the research team is keen to stress that further studies are needed to confirm and refine their current findings, and that there probably isn’t an across-the-board ruling on cushioned soles, this makes a lot of sense so far. Our advice is to always remember the fundamentals when trying out new footwear, and don’t be afraid to go back to what you know if you feel your new trainers aren’t working out for you. Seeking an assessment from a knee specialist is also important – with almost half of all overuse injuries affect the knee joint, it’s not surprising that there’s even a condition called ‘runner’s knee’.

persistent knee pain

Greater pain sensitivity found to increase risk of developing permanent knee pain

 There’s very little in life worse than constant, nagging pain in a certain part of your body, and if you’re not aware of that yet, consider yourself very lucky, because it can impact upon your entire lifestyle. And if the part of your body that’s affected happens to be your knee, you already know the obstacle it presents during your day-to-day routine.

We know the role that pain plays in body mechanics, and how it acts as a vital signifier that something has gone amiss. And while many people react to pain by getting themselves checked out and seen to at the earliest opportunity, others will either ‘tough it out’ and try to work through the pain, or shy away completely from the risk of aggravating it. And according to a recent study, compiled by researchers in Montreal and Boston, the latter group are jacking up the risk of their condition becoming permanent.

The study, which was conducted by study teams from Université de Montréal, the Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital Research Centre (CRHMR), and Boston University, analysed the data of 852 adults aged between 50 and 79 who were diagnosed with or at risk of contracting knee OA, but who weren’t suffering from persistent knee pain at the beginning of the study.

 

Tolerance to pain essential for avoiding knee arthritis

The research teams scoured each subject’s sociodemographic data and pain sensitization measurements, as well as looking for risk factors traditionally associated with knee pain such as psychological factors, widespread pain and poor sleep. They were then monitored for the development of persistent knee pain over the course of two years.

After crunching the data, the research teams managed to place members of the study group into four distinct subgroups which they called ‘pain susceptibility phenotypes’ – in other words, graded by their varying degrees of pain sensitisation, and discovered that those with the highest degree of sensitisation had the highest risk of developing persistent knee pain.

Out of those in the high-risk group, the biggest sociodemographic predictors were females, non-Caucasians and people aged over 65.

The researchers believe identifying these pain susceptibility phenotypes could be a very important development in understanding the complex pathology of knee OA – and that helping potential kn
Bristol: ee OA sufferers to build up their tolerance to pain or help them avoid pain altogether is crucial in improving their quality of life.

How can a low tolerance to persistent knee pain aggravate and even accelerate the onset of OA?

It’s simple: the instinctive response to knee pain is to not do anything to bring it on, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle – which can lead to an increased risk of developing factors that bring on OA, such as obesity and underuse of the joint mechanism. Medication can help to a certain extent – but both doctor and patient need to be aware of the risk of relying on painkillers to get through the day.

A more prudent approach may be to work out and adhere to an exercise programme geared towards safely and effectively strengthening the muscles around the knee.