Could New Research Personalize Medicine for Arthritis Patients?
In fact, scientists examining the whole-joint gene expression asked themselves this very question.
Doctors know that joint injury can lead to post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Statistics show that around half of those people who rupture the anterior cruciate ligament in their knee will go on to develop osteoarthritis about 10 to 20 years after the initial injury.
While it is not understood exactly how trauma leads to cartilage degeneration, a team of US-based scientists examined the whole-joint gene expression at various time intervals following knee injury.
Frequently called degenerative joint disease or the wear and tear form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition affecting our joints. Osteoarthritis develops as the cartilage which cushions the joints is destroyed which then causes joint pain, swelling and reduces mobility.
Often those suffering with osteoarthritis do not display signs until the have significant joint damage and pain. This can mean their treatment options are often restricted to surgery or long-term treatment with pain medications.
Most importantly, the researchers say, treatments could eventually be developed that, when administered immediately post injury, may prevent the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis years down the track.
However, in the meantime, non-pharmacologic treatments aimed to minimize your reliance upon pain-killers could offer a way forward for a personalized therapeutic treatment to help keep you active and ease the pain associated with cartilage degradation and osteoarthritis.
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