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Research Articles

New Study on Prevention of ACL Injuries

Researchers at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) have performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on ways to prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. This is important because so many of today's sports injuries affect the ACL. Players can be sidelined for months (sometimes longer). In fact, it is estimated that one-quarter of a million ACL injuries occur each year in the United States.What can be done to prevent these injuries? That is the question posed by many health care an...

How Meniscus Tears Affects the Knee Over Time

As more and more aging Baby Boomers start to develop knee osteoarthritis, researchers are focusing on the whys and wherefores of this condition. Studies have already shown that removing a torn meniscus (knee cartilage) puts patients at a significantly greater risk of developing knee osteoarthritis later on.But what happens to those patients who have a torn meniscus that doesn't get treated? Can the untreated injury also contribute to knee the development of knee osteoarthritis? That is what this...

Reducing ACL Injuries in Women

It is a well-known fact that women athletes are at greater risk for knee injuries compared with men. In particular, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries seem to plague female athletes much more often than men. In this article, orthopedic surgeons from the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Yale University review the risk factors and biomechanical differences between men and women. They also provide a treatment protocol for successful prevention of this problem.There are two ty...

ACL Surgery: Many Years Later

For many years, surgeons have worked to improve and perfect reconstructive surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures. Athletes eager to get back to full sports participation were grateful for the opportunity to have the surgery and resume play. But now many years later, surgeons are asking some important questions.ACL ruptures are surgically reconstructed by using a piece of graft material to replace the torn ligament. The graft is taken from the patient's own patellar or hamstring t...

Why Exercise Therapy is Important for Knee Osteoarthritis

Strength training and aerobic exercise reduce pain and improve function when knee osteoarthritis (OA) causes pain.There are very few reasons why patients with knee OA should not exercise.Exercise therapy for OA should be specific to each patient and prescribed by a physical therapist.Exercise has been shown effective for knee OA even when X-rays show bone-on-bone at the joint.Sticking with the program is the best insurance that the desired results will be achieved.These are the findings of a gro...

Physiotherapy For Chronic Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

There is no cure for chronic pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. But there are ways to help reduce the pain and improve function. Physiotherapy modalities such as diathermy, interferential current, electrical stimulation, and exercise can be very helpful.To help support this statement a group of researchers from four different health care centers in Turkey conducted this study. They compared the effectiveness of each of these treatment tools. They used pain levels, measures of stiffness, ability...

An Important Message for Anyone With Knee Arthritis

People with knee osteoarthritis are encouraged to maintain an active lifestyle and to exercise those arthritic knees. But that seems counter intuitive -- if your knees hurt, why would you move and exercise them more? This report based on over 2200 people with knee arthritis confirms (again!) the advice to exercise and stay active.

Joint Replacement Isn't the Only Treatment Choice for Knee Arthritis

Even though half a million knee replacements are done each year in the United States, there are other treatment options for some patients. If one side of the joint has worn down from problems with alignment, an osteotomy is one possible alternative choice. In this review article, the uses and types of osteotomies available are presented. The authors also discuss when to perform an osteotomy and when to avoid using this technique.

Microfracture Treatment for Knee Articular Cartilage Injuries Gets the Nod

It's clear now that damage to the meniscus (cartilage) of the knee should be repaired whenever possible. But there's another type of cartilage in the knee called the articular cartilage. This is the cartilage that lines the joint and sits right up against the bone.

A Review of Knee Injuries Affecting the Medial Structures

Knee injuries can really lay an athlete low. Those injuries affect the medial side of the knee most often (the side closest to the other knee). The soft tissues involved are first the superficial medial collateral ligament, then the deep medial collateral ligament, and finally, the posterior oblique ligament.

Update For Surgeons on Revision of Knee Joint Replacements

A knee replacement has become so common any more we tend to forget that it is still major surgery and a fairly complex one at that. With so many aging adults in America, the number of total knee replacements has increased dramatically. And along with that has come the need for revision surgery. Such a second surgery may be done when the implant fails or the patient has knee pain that doesn't go away with exercise.

Steroid Injection for Knee Arthritis Good For One Week

Research has shown that corticosteroids injected into the joint work for reducing knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. But how long does the effect last? Osteoarthritis is a chronic problem, so long-term solutions are needed. Just how well do steroid injections work? According to the results of this study: the pain reducing effect lasts about one week. Steroid injections offer short-term pain relief but they aren't advised for more than that.Since we know that almost half of all adults age 80 and...

Are You At Risk for Patellofemoral Syndrome?

Six risk factors for patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) in young athletes have been identified in this study. Some of them are modifiable, which means they can be changed. And that means this painful knee condition may possibly be prevented. That's good news since PFPS is one of the most common painful and chronic knee problems faced by military recruits and athletes elsewhere.

Failure Rate of Meniscal Transplantation

The verdict is in on the subject of meniscectomy (removal of the meniscus) -- don't do it unless it's absolutely necessary. And sometimes there is no way around it. But whenever possible, surgeons repair the damage and save as much of the natural meniscus (knee cartilage) as possible. The menisci (plural for meniscus) sit between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (lower leg bone). These structures are sometimes referred to as the cartilage of the knee, but the menisci differ from the articula...

Efforts Around the World to Find Best Rehab Program After ACL

Injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee are common among adults of all ages. Athletes seem to be the primary patient population but they are not alone. Adults of all ages but especially between 20 and 40 are among the most common patients to present with traumatic or degenerative injury of the ACL. Physiotherapists who help rehab these folks are making every effort to find the most optimal postoperative program -- one that will reduce pain and restore function, neuromuscular...

Loss of Muscle Power Discovered After Unilateral Knee Replacement

Knee replacements are common among older adults with painful joint arthritis. It has been assumed that the decrease in pain after recovery from joint replacement surgery translates into improved motion, strength, and function. But physiotherapists working with these patients have noticed problems with climbing stairs and a slower walking speed long after recovery and rehab.

Latest JAAOS Guidelines for the Nonoperative Treatment of Knee Arthritis

In this article, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) presents a Clinical Practice Guideline for the nonoperative treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Guidelines like this help all health care professionals treating patients with knee arthritis using noninvasive approaches. Patient education, self-management techniques, physiotherapy, and exercise are just a few ways this problem can be approached conservatively.The 22 guidelines offered are based on an extensive review of published s...

New Findings Help Explain Results of Treatment for Osteochondritis Dissecans

Japanese researchers may have an answer to the problem of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). This painful knee condition affects teens and young adults who are usually still growing. That means the growth plates around the joints have not closed completely yet. Damage to the joint cartilage and first layer of bone (called subchondral bone) occurs causing knee pain with activity. Until now, it's been unclear just what happens to cause this condition.Rest from activity and walking with crutches (non...

Ideal Timing for ACL Surgery

It's clear now that unrepaired anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are often accompanied by damage to other soft tissue structures of the knee. Patients are advised to have surgery sooner than later. And surgeons are advised to carefully evaluate the joint for any additional ligament or cartilage tears before doing surgery for the ACL. But sometimes patients opt out of surgery and decide to wait before having the operation. In those cases, without the stabilizing force of the ACL, do patie...

Reviewing the Latest in Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee

Parents of teens with osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) and any adult who ever had OCD as a teenager will find this review of interest. Diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of OCD are the key features. A special focus on surgical options brings us up-to-date on the treatment of OCD.Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) describes an injury to the area of bone just under the cartilage surface, an area called the subchondral bone. OCD affects the knee most often and develops in active teens between the ages...

Proof That Exercise Helps Arthritic Knees

If you have painful knee arthritis, exercising the knee may be the last thing on your To Do list. But studies like this one show that knee flexion and extension exercises do help. They improve strength and help your knee respond quickly to any change in position. The result can be less stiffness, faster walking speed, and a lower risk for falling. If you are a young athlete, that may not sound very important. But if you are an older adult, these benefits may grab your attention.

Waiting For a Hip or Knee Replacement? Here are Some Tips to Control Pain and Stay Active.

In some countries with universal or nationalized health care, a joint replacement is considered an elective procedure. That means the person chooses to have the operation but it's not an emergency procedure. So despite pain and loss of motion or function, that individual must wait in a queue (line) until the resources are available to them. This could take weeks to months. In the meantime, they are advised to stay active. What's the best way to do that? Should patients exercise on land or in a p...

Even A Small Loss of Knee Motion After ACL Surgery is Important

Long-term results after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery aren't always perfect. But for the majority of patients, the outcome is favorable and patients are happy with the results. In this study, the authors take a look at knee joint range-of-motion 10 to 14 years after ACL reconstruction. They found that even a small decrease in knee motion (flexion or extension) can make a big difference in the final results.

Optimal Treatment for Knee Ligament Injuries

Have you ever heard someone say they tweaked their knee? Has that ever happened to you? You take a step wrong or move in just a way that causes a sudden, sharp pain along the inside (medial side) of the knee. You may have just experienced a grade I or II (mild) injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL).

Improving Total Knee Replacements

Little by little, total knee implants have been improved over the years. But it hasn't happened by magic. Makers of the implants sponsor studies like this one to evaluate what works, what doesn't, and what changes are needed to improve the results. Better quality of life and longer lasting implants are two main goals with total knee replacements (TKRs).

Should You Have Surgery for that Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear...Or Not?

Highly active people who injure their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee are often faced with an important treatment decision: surgery or no surgery? Wouldn't it be great if there was a test that people could take to help them answer this question?

ACL Repair: Single or Double Reconstruction?

Over the years, surgical technique for the repair of a ruptured or deficient anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has evolved and changed. Most recently, in the 1990s, surgeons went from using a two-incision tunnel to a one-incision technique. Results of each method have been studied and are now compiled in this report.

New Bioengineered Treatment for Cartilage Lesions of the Knee

Cartilage injuries in the knee can be a big problem. Healing is very slow, if it happens at all. That's because the cartilage in the knee doesn't have much of a blood supply. Getting athletes with a full-thickness (down to the bone) cartilage tear back on their feet and returned to their sport can be a challenge.

Importance of Physical Therapy After Severe Leg Injuries

Physiotherapists provide rehab and retraining for patients after severe leg injuries. Regaining normal motion and motor control, improving strength, and restoring kinesthetic awareness (sense of position) are some examples of what physiotherapy addresses for these patients.

Rehab After Total Knee Replacement Should Include Both Knees

Degenerative joint disease (also known as osteoarthritis or OA) is a common problem in the aging adult. Two out of 10 people over the age of 60 develop OA. Knee arthritis is especially common. Pain and loss of motion from this condition can really limit activities and lead to increasing disability.

When Knee Pain Isn't Really Knee Pain

Physiotherapists faced with patients who have knee pain must make sure the problem is really coming from the knee. This is true for all musculoskeletal problems, whether it's back, neck, shoulder, hip, knee pain, and so on.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Revision Helpful But Not as Effective as Primary Surgery

Tearing or rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a common knee injury, especially in people who participate in certain sports. And, as more people become active, surgeons are performing more ACL rupture repairs than ever before. Surgeons usually repair the ACL using a graft to hold the ligament together. Unfortunately, the graft doesn't always hold and the repair fails. This means the patient needs revision surgery for another attempt at repairing the injury. Up to now, doctors haven...

Learning How To Kneel After A Partial Knee Replacement

Is there a reason why patients stop kneeling after a partial knee replacement (PKR)? If there is, doctors and physiotherapists haven't been able to find it. And without the ability to kneel, daily activities can become quite restricted.

Combined Procedures to Repair and Restore Knee Meniscus and Cartilage

The treatment of meniscus injuries has progressed and changed over the years. Meniscectomy (removing the meniscus) was the first procedure used. But long-term studies showed degeneration of the joint cartilage as a result. Meniscal repair is now performed whenever possible.
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