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  • Why so idle with knee OA?

    Being obese or overweight can make osteoarthritis worse. Staying physically active is one of the best ways to avoid putting on extra pounds. However, many osteoarthritis patients remain inactive.

    These findings suggest that there may be a serious need to improve physical activity among patients with knee osteoarthritis. According to the authors, increasing physical activity among these patients will likely involve weight management, healthy diet and improving pain and disability.

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  • Disabled by weight: obese with arthritis

    Being obese is just plain unhealthy. All that excess fat can make outcomes worse for patients with any of a number of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

    A recent study showed that morbidly obese patients with inflammatory polyarthritis - which includes diseases like rheumatoid arthritis - had higher levels of disability than arthritis patients who were not obese. Morbidly obese patients had about twice the odds of disability compared to those who were not obese

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  • New rheumatoid arthritis drug performs

    Painful swollen joints are familiar to those with rheumatoid arthritis. But patients may have another option if they don't respond well to typically used medications.

    A recent industry-funded study found that combining a new drug called tofacitinib with an existing prescription drug improved symptoms in those with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that involves inflammation, pain and swelling in the joints.

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  • Strong muscles better for function in OA

    Osteoarthritis of the knee can get in the way of physical activity. For people with this condition, strong muscles may be the key to maintaining strong physical function.

    In a recent study, people with severe knee osteoarthritis had more trouble on a test of physical ability when they had poor muscle strength in their legs. Their performance on the test was not influenced by pain, age or body weight.

    The authors said that muscle strengthening treatments may help people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.

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  • Treatment with platelet-rich plasma shows potential for knee osteoarthritis

    Several treatments for osteoarthritis exist, including exercise, weight control, bracing, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, Tylenol, cortisone shots and viscosupplementation, a procedure that involves injecting a gel-like substance into the knee to supplement the natural lubricant in the joint. A new treatment that is being studied by a small number of doctors is PRP injections. PRP, which is produced from a patient's own blood, delivers a high concentration of growth factors to arthritic cartilage that can potentially enhance healing.

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  • Vitamin K for healthy knees

    Vitamin K supports bones and cartilage. So researchers wanted to know if low vitamin K was linked to joint damage and osteoarthritis.

    The study found that people who had low levels of vitamin K in their blood were about 33 percent more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis.

    Also, people with low vitamin K levels were about two times more likely to show signs of damaged cartilage in their knees.

    The authors suggested that vitamin K may be important for keeping knees healthy.

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  • New hip replacement approach offers multiple benefits

    It's no fun walking around with an ailing hip; anyone with severe arthritis knows that kind of pain all too well. For years, orthopedic surgeons have been performing total hip replacements when less invasive options don't provide the desired results.

    The bottom line for those who have hip pain that significantly interferes with their quality of life is that there's no need to suffer. If non-operative treatments don't provide the long term relief, hip replacement or resurfacing may be the answer.

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  • Osteoarthritis: new light shed on how painful joint wear and tear develops

    The cause of osteoarthritis -- other than known risk factors such as age or earlier injury -- is not yet known. The researchers at the MedUni Vienna have discovered, however, that certain proteins known as lectins, and in particular galectins, have a role to play in the painful wear and tear of the joints.

    These new findings, according to the vision of the MedUni Vienna researchers, could lead to galectins in future being used both in the treatment and, as bio-markers, in the disease prediction of osteoarthritis.

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  • Baby boomers feed need for joint replacements; Docs seeing more patients under age of 65

    US baby boomers are fueling a wave of joint replacement surgeries, hoping to use new artificial knees and hips to stay active as they get older.

    The 45-64 age group accounted for more than 40 percent of the more than 906,000 total knee or total hip replacement surgeries in 2009, the last year for which figures were available from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

    Boomers will account for a majority of these joint replacements in 2011, according to projections by Drexel University specialist Steven Kurtz.

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  • Sports training and ACL reconstruction should focus on unique characteristics of the female knee

    Female athletes are three times more likely to suffer from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)ruptures, one of the most common knee injuries, compared to male athletes. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur (upper leg bone) to the tibia (lower leg bone). Recent research highlights the unique anatomical differences in the female knee that may contribute to higher injury rates, and should be taken into consideration during reconstructive surgery and sports training, according to a review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

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