A Brief History of Knee Osteoarthritis Research

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating disease affecting the knee joint. The good news is that significant strides have been made in treating and managing the condition over the years. In this blog, we’ll provide a brief history of knee osteoarthritis research and discuss why it is still an important area of focus for researchers today.

The Relevance of Knee Osteoarthritis 

Did you know that knee osteoarthritis (Knee OA) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world? It’s true! Almost 27 million Americans are living with this condition. Osteoarthritis is the most typical form of arthritis. The condition occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints breaks down, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. In the past, patients with knee osteoarthritis had few treatment options. The disease was often associated with aging, and few options were available to improve their quality of life. However, these weight-bearing joints felt anything but; this was not your average wear and tear.

What Research Has Accomplished for Knee Osteoarthritis 

The first official mention of osteoarthritis dates to 1890, when Sir Archibald Edward Garrod named the degenerative disease. In the years that followed, researchers made great strides in understanding this condition. In the early 1900s, Dr. Kellgren classified osteoarthritis into four different types based on the radiographic appearance of the joint. This was a crucial moment, as it helped doctors better understand the chronic condition and develop more targeted treatment plans.

Normal knee joint versus knee joint with arthritis.

OA research continued to build on this work in the following decades, and today we have a much more comprehensive understanding of osteoarthritis. There have been significant strides made in the way that OA knee is both seen and treated. There have been massive breakthroughs in developing new surgical procedures and treatments. One of the most exciting developments has been the development of robotic-assisted surgery for OA of the knee. This new surgery is less invasive than traditional knee replacement surgery and is very effective in treating knee OA. In addition, there’ve been new developments in using stem cells to treat OA of the knee. It’s also known that exercise, weight loss, and other lifestyle changes have been known to help slow the progression of osteoarthritis. All in all, patients now have a wide range of options for managing their condition. While there is still much to learn about osteoarthritis, the future looks promising.

The Importance of Continued Research

Although osteoarthritis is common, there’s still much that we don’t understand about it. For example, we don’t know precisely what causes the cartilage to break down or why some people are more susceptible to the condition than others. As a result, research on osteoarthritis of the knee is ongoing, and it is still an area of active research. There are many potential treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee. Still, research is vital to determine which options are most effective. In addition, new diagnostic techniques are being developed that help identify osteoarthritis earlier and allow for more efficacy in treatment as our understanding continues to evolve. I hope our blog on the topic of a brief history of osteoarthritis knee research has proven illuminating on the importance of its continuance. Research on this condition will be crucial to improve the quality of life for those who are living with the condition.

Don't let osteoarthritis of the knee keep you up at night.

North Georgia Clinical Research has clinical trials dedicated to osteoarthritis of the knee. Participating in one of our studies can help to advance medicine and improve the lives of those with knee OA. Message us through our website or contact us directly at (678) 494-5735 for further details!