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“[Knees] can progress from normal appearance to end-stage disease within four years, and many of these knees can experience these changes in less than 12 months,” writes lead author Jeffrey Driban, PhD, ATC, CSCS, of the Division of Rheumatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston in an e-mail to The Rheumatologist. “So far, we know very little about this possible subset of osteoarthritis.”
The study, published October 2014 in Arthritis Care & Research, followed participants in the Osteoarthritis Initiative study and assessed whether knee injuries were associated with the outcome of accelerated knee OA or common knee OA progression over 48 months. Authors reported that a knee injury during the total observation period was associated with accelerated knee OA progression (n=54; odds ratio [OR] 3.14), but not common knee OA progression (n=187; OR 1.08). A more recent knee injury (within a year of the outcome) was associated with both accelerated (OR 8.46) and common knee OA progression (OR 3.12).
Dr. Driban believes connecting knee injuries with accelerated knee OA could improve clinical trials if researchers could selectively recruit participants at risk for faster progression.