Navigation Links
Meniscal damage and the development of persistent knee pain

Two fibro-cartilaginous crescents, the menisci serve as cushions against joint cartilage degradation where the knee connects with the shin and thigh bones. Loss of meniscal function is recognized as a strong risk factor for knee osteoarthritis (OA). In the United States, about 6 percent of the over 30 through middle-age population and between 11 and 15 percent of senior citizens, age 65 and up, suffer from knee OA in form of frequent knee pain, aching, or stiffness. The prevalence of this routinely aggravating, often disabling condition is increasing. Associated with the toll of aging and obesity, as well as sports injuries, tears to the menisci are a common finding on magnetic resonance images, especially in the OA knee. However, whether meniscal damage foreshadows the development of knee pain in middle aged or elderly or directly causes it remains unknown.

Toward their goal of improving the early detection of knee OA, researchers with the Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study set out to evaluate the effect of meniscal damage on the development of knee pain, aching, or stiffness in middle-aged and older adults. Based on their findings, featured in the December 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (, meniscal damage does often not directly provoke knee symptoms. Any association between meniscal damage and frequent knee pain seems to be present because both pain and meniscal damage are related to OA, notes study spokesperson Dr. Martin Englund of Boston University School of Medicine, and not because of a direct link between the two.

Researchers began by focusing on 3,026 individuals between the ages of 50 and 79, who either had signs of knee OA or were at a high risk of developing it. Recruited from two U.S. communities Birmingham, Alabama, and Iowa, City participants included men and women, whites and ethnic minorities. Based on telephone interviews and clinical visits with members of the study population, 110 case knees were identified. They were defined as knees free from symptoms at baseline, which had developed frequent pain, aching, or stiffness at the studys 15-month culmination mark. 220 control knees were drawn randomly from those knees with no frequent symptoms at baseline that did not become cases.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), trusted for its high sensitivity to detecting tissue and cartilage changes, was performed on case and control knees at baseline and at 15 months. Then, 2 musculoskeletal radiologists blinded to the case-control status of its subject assessed each film for meniscal damage using the following scale: 0 = intact, 1 = minor tear, 2 = non-displaced tear or surgical repair, and 3 = displaced tear, resection, maceration, or destruction. Finally, the effect of meniscal damage on the development of frequent knee pain, aching, or stiffness was analyzed by contingency tables and logistic regression.

At baseline, meniscal damage was detected on 38 percent of case knees and 29 percent of control knees. As expected, meniscal damage was more frequent in knees in which previous surgery or serious injury had been reported. Although there was a modest association between meniscal damage score and the development of frequent knee pain, aching, and stiffness after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index meniscal damage was mostly present and pronounced in knees with radiographic evidence of OA.

When considering the co-occurrence of OA and performing a stratified analysis, researchers found no independent association between meniscal damage and the development of frequent knee symptoms. Meniscal damage in older adults is highly associated with OA of the knee, Dr. Englund makes clear. However, meniscal damage often seems not to be directly responsible for later symptoms, while other features of OA may be so. Stressing the importance of treating OA as a whole-joint disorder, this study calls attention to the risk of misinterpreting meniscal damage as the direct cause of knee pain. As Dr. Englund acknowledges, it also emphasizes the need for further research into the possible role of different types and sites of meniscal damage in contributing to knee pain.


Contact: Amy Molnar

Related medicine news :

1. Chromatin remodeling complex connected to DNA damage control
2. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
3. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
4. New technique detects specific chromosomal damage, may indicate lung cancer risk
5. Blood-flow detector software show promise in preventing brain damage
6. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
7. Test Spots Genetic Damage Done by Smoking
8. Shaking may cause brain damage and serious long-term effects to infants
9. Severe heart attack damage limited by hydrogen sulfide
10. Cell-surface sugar defects may trigger nerve damage in multiple sclerosis patients
11. Fluoride Damages the Thyroid, Report Shows
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX ... fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of ... unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution ... the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these ... disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, ... of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, ... the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: