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New developments in osteoarthritis. Prevention of injury-related knee osteoarthritis: opportunities for the primary and secondary prevention of knee osteoarthritis

Charles R Ratzlaff12* and Matthew H Liang34

Author Affiliations

1 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Mather Building, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3

2 Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, Vancouver, 895 W. 10th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 1L7

3 Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street-PBB3, Boston, MA 02115, USA

4 Cooperative Studies Program, Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology and Research Center, 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:215  doi:10.1186/ar3113

Published: 31 August 2010


Where risk factors have been identified in knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA), with few exceptions, no prevention strategies have proven beneficial. The major risk factors for knee OA are advanced age, injury and obesity. However, there is limited or no evidence that they are modifiable or to what degree modifying them is effective in preventing development of knee OA or in preventing symptoms and progressive disease in persons with early OA. The notable exception is the growing epidemic of (sports) injury related knee OA. This review details the biological and clinical data indicating the efficacy of interventions targeting neuromuscular and biomechanical factors that make this subset of OA an attractive public health target, and highlights research opportunities for the future.