Knee Injuries In Youth Threaten Arthritis In Adulthood

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Knee Injuries In Youth Threaten Arthritis In Adulthood
Knee Injuries In Youth Threaten Arthritis In Adulthood

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Knee injuries in youth threaten arthritis in adulthood

Younger knee injuries significantly increase the likelihood of knee osteoarthritis by middle age, especially if they are accompanied by bone fractures or connective tissue ruptures.

Knee injuries in youth threaten arthritis in adulthood
Knee injuries in youth threaten arthritis in adulthood

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Younger knee injuries significantly increase the likelihood of knee osteoarthritis by middle age, especially if accompanied by bone fractures or connective tissue tears, a Swedish study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found.

Scientists from Lund University have observed 149,288 adults for 19 years, at the beginning of the study the participants were between 25 and 34 years old. Knee injuries were suffered by 5,247 people. Compared to people who had never had such an injury, they were almost six times more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis during the first 11 years of follow-up. After another 8 years, this risk for injured people was three times higher.

“Injuries that occur inside the knee joint, such as the meniscus or cruciate ligament, can alter the biomechanical load patterns of the knee. Such injuries can lead to an imbalance in the transmission of force within the knee joint, which overloads the articular cartilage and increases the risk of osteoarthritis. This is not the case for injuries that mainly involve the outside of the knee, such as bruises,”said study leader Barbara Snoeker.

A history of knee injuries is a known risk factor, along with being overweight, age, female, or having a lot of work on the joints. However, previous research does not provide a clear picture of whether certain types of injury are more likely to lead to osteoarthritis.

Most often, injuries involve multiple structures of the knee (21%), followed by cuts and bruises (18%), and tears of cartilage or other tissues (17%).

The study also showed that injuries to the cruciate ligament (which connects the femur to the lower leg) were 19.6% more likely to lead to osteoarthritis of the knee joint, meniscus tears - by 10.5%, and fractures of the leg near the kneecap - by 6.6%.

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