SO Knee Blog # 15.

Young Athletes with Previous Knee Injury has Higher Risk of Osteoarthritis!

SO Knee Blog # 15.

In a recently held International World Congress of Osteoarthritis Research Society held at Las Vegas, USA; Jackie L. Whittaker, PhD presented their research on young athletes having knee injuries during their teen age. They concluded that these young athletes are at a very high risk of developing osteoarthritis compared to the athletes who didn’t suffer knee injury during their young age. Whittaker and colleagues compared 100 patients who had suffered knee injuries with another group of 100 athletes who didn’t suffer knee injuries. Both the group of patients were matched with age, sex and sports they played. 

Injured young athletes showed 25% higher chance of osteoarthritis diagnosed on MRI at 3-10 years after the injury. Athletes who suffered anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or meniscus tear had a much higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. They also noticed weakness of extensors and flexors of the knee muscles in patients suffered from knee injury at teen age. Click here to learn more about this research.

We had always been recommending a good rehab program after any knee injury. It is a must to restore the normal physiological milieu of the joint. Young athletes who underwent ACL reconstruction or Meniscus surgery usually stop their rehab program early. These young players are always in a hurry to go back to sports and they don’t want to miss the season. However, players must understand that loss of one season is not a loss to sports career but a less than optimum knee is definitely an end to sports career. Even though there is a higher chance of osteoarthritis, the only option left to delay osteoarthritis is a proper rehab.

SO Team


Whittaker JL, et al. Paper #65. Presented at: Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress; April 27-30, 2017; Las Vegas.



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