Arthritis

Updated 04 December 2015

An MRI can spot the early signs of knee arthritis

Even when X-rays are normal, MRIscans can signal need for preventive steps if it's shows you have knee osteoarthritis.

0

MRIs can spot the warning signs of knee osteoarthritis in people who have normal X-rays, researchers report.

They looked at 849 people, average age of 60, who showed no evidence of arthritis in either knee in X-rays. They were deemed at high risk due to factors such as being overweight or having a history of knee injuries.

The Northwestern University team also assessed cartilage damage, bone marrow lesions and meniscus tears on MRI images taken three years apart. If the MRIs showed worsening damage during that time, the patients were at increased risk of developing knee arthritis or symptoms such as pain, stiffness and/or swelling.

Depending on the type of lesion revealed by MRI, the risk of developing knee arthritis within three years was three to 20 times greater, the researchers said.

"These worsening lesions are an early warning sign and an opportunity to intervene before a person develops the debilitating disease," lead investigator Dr. Leena Sharma, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine, said in a university news release.

"If we employ aggressive prevention strategies in persons with these lesions before they develop knee osteoarthritis, we may be able to delay disease development or alter its course," she added.

Those preventive measures include weight control and avoiding potentially harmful physical activity.

The study was published recently in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Read more:


How exercise eases knee osteoarthritis

Future knee implants will be made by silkworms

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

Ask the Expert

Arthritis expert

Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules