Detecting early signs of osteoarthritis

Jul 23, 2009

Researchers at The University of Nottingham are hoping to find out if inflammation of the knee could be an early sign of osteoarthritis — a condition which leads to pain, stiffness, swelling and disability.

Up to six million people in the UK suffer from osteoarthritis in the knee. Now 200 patients, over the age of 55, from GP practices across Nottingham are to take part in a study led by research physiotherapist Michelle Hall in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy.

Mrs Hall, who is a lecturer in the Division of Physiotherapy Education, said: "It has been shown that people who have inflammation may develop more severe and progressive osteoarthritis and experience greater pain and disability. The ability to detect the presence of inflammation using Ultrasound could therefore be important in terms of prognosis and selection of certain treatments."

With a three-year training fellowship from the Arthritis Research Campaign of £192,000 Mrs Hall will use new ultrasound techniques to identify if this common condition, in people over 55, can be linked to osteoarthritis.

At the moment osteoarthritis can only be identified by x-ray, which is limited to revealing changes to bones and degeneration of cartilage. It does not show up any changes or inflammation to the surrounding soft tissue or joint lining. This inflammation may also contribute to pain and stiffness and could, in fact, be a precursor to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is known as a "wear and tear" condition in which cartilage wears away, leaving bones rubbing together. Recently scientists have shown that inflammation in the joint lining may also play a role in its development.

The team from The University of Nottingham's physiotherapy education and academic rheumatology departments aim to find out if people with knee pain and/or knee also have inflammation in their knees.

Patients will attend the Clinical Sciences Building at the University for the ultrasound scans which will repeated three months later or if participants report a change in their pain, to chart the progress of the to see whether this correlates with x-ray changes or with increases in . A control group of healthy volunteers will also undergo ultrasound on their knees as a comparison group.

Source: University of Nottingham (news : web)

Explore further: Ebola death toll passes 3,300: WHO

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obesity contributes to rapid cartilage loss

Jul 14, 2009

Obesity, among other factors, is strongly associated with an increased risk of rapid cartilage loss, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.

Reviewers agree on osteoarthritis of the knee

Dec 06, 2007

Concerns over the cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) led to the publication of several sets of fresh guidelines on the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. But a review of these guidelines, ...

Occupational therapy gets people with osteoarthritis moving

Sep 29, 2008

Physical activity is the cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle – and especially for people with osteoarthritis as exercise helps maintain good joint health, manage their symptoms, and prevent functional decline. Osteoarthritis, ...

Recommended for you

Ebola death toll passes 3,300: WHO

41 minutes ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola epidemic has now soared past 3,300, with the virus killing almost half of the more than 7,000 people it has infected, according to World Health Organization figures released ...

Dallas ER sent Ebola-infected patient home

1 hour ago

A Dallas emergency room sent a man with Ebola home last week, even though he told a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, and officials at the hospital are considering if they would have ...

US hunts contacts of seriously ill Ebola patient

2 hours ago

US health officials scoured the Dallas area Wednesday for people—including schoolchildren—who came in contact with a Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola, as it emerged a hospital mix-up saw him initially turned ...

Australia lifts Ebola donation to $16 million

2 hours ago

Australia more than doubled its donation to the fight against Ebola in West Africa to 18 million Australian dollars ($16 million) on Thursday, but resisted demands to send personnel.

User comments : 0