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Ask Well: Keeping Knee Arthritis in Check

The New York Times—March 6, 2013

Dr. Michael Parks, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, gives his expert advice on how to prevent the further progression of knee osteoarthritis. Dr. Parks specializes in knee and hip revision surgery, and alternate procedures including partial knee replacements and arthroscopic surgery of the knee.

But there are ways to slow the progression. "The most important," he says, "is activity modification." While long-distance running, for instance, doesn't seem to directly cause arthritis in most people's knees, it may speed the condition once it starts, Dr. Parks says. "It's best, once you have a diagnosis of knee arthritis, to limit repetitive impacts on the joint," he says.

Dr. Sabrina Strickland, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist who treats orthopedic conditions of the shoulder, knee and elbow at Hospital for Special Surgery, also gives advice on treating knee arthritis.

"I tell patients" with knee arthritis, "try to be as skinny as you can be." Being svelte won't cure the condition, she adds, but it's "likely to make the symptoms better. Carrying less weight usually means feeling less pain."

Read the full story at nytimes.com.


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