Knee osteoarthritis or arthritis is a very common condition. It is estimated that over 50% of patients over the age of 65 will have osteoarthritis. The knee is the most common joint affected.
Men and women will have differences due to smaller joint surface area of women in general. This makes trauma and being overweight more significant for women as these factors can propel arthritis progression faster in smaller joints. Women also have differences in pelvis shape which creates more force on the inner aspect of the knee resulting in a tendency to develop medial (inner) knee arthritis.
Knee osteoarthritis is not merely a wear and tear phenomenon. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) has many underlying factors which can initiate the development and progression of knee OA.
These factors include:
Other medical diseases
Trauma and surgery often go hand in hand. Not surprisingly, the two potentiate knee arthritis progression.
Joint inflammation may be clinically evident with pain or swelling, or sub clinical with inflammation and joint degeneration occurring at the cellular level from inflammatory processes.
Understanding the role each factor has in osteoarthritis development and progression is a key to understanding preventative measures.
Knee stem cell treatments are being seen as potential avenues to address knee osteoarthritis from an early, as well as a late standpoint to avoid knee replacement surgery.
The application and use of stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis at the sub clinical level has interesting scientific and preventative medicine strategies as well as being a part of Regenerative Medicine.