One in every five adults over 45 will suffer osteoarthritis of the knee.
This common condition occurs when the cartilage surrounding the knee wears away. This leads to the bone growing thicker, and the muscles supporting the joint become weaker.
Unfortunately, early stages of osteoarthritis are often undetectable. By the time there are symptoms, there’s nothing to do but try to manage the pain.
Some people can manage to strengthen the muscles through physiotherapy. But for many, knee replacement is the only answer.
But now, it may not have to be.
Stanford University scientists have previously invented a type of athletic shoe that could take pressure off of the damaged part of the knee, thus relieving arthritis pain.
Now, they’re trying to find out whether they can detect inflammation level changes over six months of wearing the shoes, through blood tests.
Previously, the shoe was linked to a 32 percent reduction of pain over a year.
Now, they hope that if blood tests are done before, during, and after wearing the shoes, they can pinpoint whether any inflammation in the body is related to the knees. The theory is, of course, that if inflammation is reduced after wearing shoes, they can detect that at least some of it was located in the knees.
They hope, then, that this could help detect arthritis earlier on, so patients could be treated earlier, thus eliminating the need for surgery.
A six month trial begins this month that will test the effect ov these shoes against the effectiveness of placebo shoes, with blood tests before and after.
Hopefully, it will at least reduce the number of needed knee surgeries.