Middle-aged men and women with osteoarthritis of the knee now have more options than ever before for treatments that may allow them to remain active in the sports they love, according to a review published in the July 2010 issue of of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).
“The number of patients between the ages of 40 and 60 who are experiencing knee arthritis is growing, and unlike most older patients, this patient population presents a unique set of treatment challenges,” noted lead author Brian Feeley, M.D., assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, University of California, San Francisco. “Understanding available options and tailoring treatments to each patient’s needs and desires is the key to successful outcomes.”
The review examined both surgical and non-surgical treatments available for younger patients with knee arthritis, to determine the best course of action for patients who want to continue to participate in demanding sports. Unlike elderly patients, where pain reduction and basic mobility are the two primary goals, Dr. Feeley noted younger, more active patients require more flexible treatment programs to allow them to remain as active as they would like.
“There is an increasing trend in the United States of people who want to stay active in sports and recreational activities after the age of 40. These patients are not content with being told to stop what they love doing,” added Dr. Feeley. “As a result, orthopaedic surgeons and other physicians need to come up with different treatment strategies including non-operative treatments or even cartilage restoration procedures, to address pain and functionality, and to help keep patients as active as possible.”