People who engage in excessive high-intensity physical activity and those who do very little physical activity might be damaging their knee cartilage, according to research presented at the Radiological Society of North America 98th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting.
The loss of cartilage is progressive and irreversible. "Once the cartilage is gone, it is gone for good and cannot be recovered," said senior author Thomas M. Link, MD, PhD. "This is why it is so important for people to do physical activity in moderation and to use safe practices when they do sports such as running and playing tennis. He also said "I have seen people in their 20s who have completely destroyed their cartilage surface and I wonder what is going to happen to them. They are going to live another 50 or 60 years. They cannot walk on bone, so they will need a total joint replacement, perhaps several, over their lifetime. Each time the bone gets thinner and weaker because bone does not react well to total joint replacement. This is going to become a serious problem," he said "People need to learn how to protect their joints when they do physical activities, he said. "People should be active, but they should make sure they're exercising in a safe way and not destroying their joints."
Radiological Society of
North America (RSNA) 98th Scientific Assembly and Annual
Meeting: Abstract LL-MKS-SU1B. Presented November 26, 2012.