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High-Impact Sports Might Not Harm Knee Replacements
Date:3/12/2010

More active patients had better joint function, study found

FRIDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who get a total knee replacement are usually advised to avoid high-impact sports to preserve their new body part. But a new study suggests sport participation is not only safe -- it may even help people gain better knee function.

''Initially, we though high-impact sports were terrible for the prosthesis," said Dr. Sebastien Parratte, a research collaborator at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and an assistant professor at the Aix-Marseille University Center for Arthritis Surgery at Hospital Sainte-Marguerite in Marseille, France.

"Our eight-year results have shown it is not the case," he said.

He is the lead author of the study, scheduled for presentation Friday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans.

More than a half million total knee replacements are performed annually in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Parratte and his colleagues conducted the study knowing that patients routinely ignore their doctor's advice to take it easy after receiving a knee replacement. In fact, about one of six patients engage in high-impact activities post-implantation, experts say.

Parratte's team followed 535 patients in all. A total of 218 underwent knee replacement and then performed heavy manual labor or engaged in a non-recommended sport, such as high-impact aerobics, football, soccer, baseball, jogging or power lifting. The control group of 317 patients had knee replacement but did not engage in sports that were not recommended.

The researchers evaluated the patients clinically and with X-rays. About eight years after surgery, they found no significant radiological differences and no significant differences in the implant durability between groups.

In fact, the sport group had slightly
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