Osteoarthritis of the Knee

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Weight bearing joints, specifically the knee, are at risk of developing osteoarthritis after injury, especially in relation to participation of a high impact sport. Results from this study suggest that knee osteoarthritis increases in prevalence an athlete who has sustained traumatic knee injury. Trauma of the knee joint can lead to a series of lesions and damage to the articular cartilage. Damage to the articular cartilage is primarily associated with intraarticular bleeding which leads to (posttraumatic) joint inflammation. Once the joint experiences trauma, chronic remodeling of cartilage and other tissues of the joint initiates and progresses to osteoarthritis in most cases. The most effective forms of evaluation and diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis is physical examination and plain radiography. Prevention and self-management strategies for osteoarthritis should be targeted to athletes with a history of knee injury. Health care professionals should target knee-injured individuals for primary prevention with respect to education, activity modification, and the role of re-establishing neuromuscular function and exercise in surgical decision-making and rehabilitation.

The Development of Knee Osteoarthritis in Athletes
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is an endemic condition that affects about 20 million people in the United States alone (Britton, 2009, p.1). Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is defined as a gradual process of destruction and degeneration or wearing away of the joint cartilage that typically occurs in the older individual age 50 and over (Lozada, 2014). Although this disease is well known for its association with the natural aging process, it is also prevalent in at...

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