You received your eye color from mom and your hair from your dad, but what about your knee pain? That may, in fact, also run in the family. There are a number of risk factors for knee pain and arthritis. These include obesity, bad alignment (being severely bow-legged or knock-kneed), exposure to trauma or sports injuries, as well as the ability of the joint to heal itself. One recent study went even further and explored the incidence of knee pain in the children of people undergoing knee replacement.
Here, we break down the findings and what you should know about knee pain.
The study, which was published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, found that people whose parents had total knee replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis are significantly more likely to develop knee pain in midlife than those with no family history of knee surgery.
A total of 372 adults enrolled in the study. Half of the participants had at least one parent who had knee replacement surgery while the other half had no history of knee arthritis or knee replacement surgery in their parents. Everyone answered questionnaires based on their personal history of knee pain over the past year. They also had X-rays and MRI scans of their right knees taken. The questionnaires, X-rays and MRI scans were taken again two years and 10 years after initial enrollment.
Researchers found that half of participants in both groups reported knee pain at the two-year mark. The discrepancy between the two groups came at the 10-year mark: about 74 percent of the adults with parents that had knee replacements had knee pain, while 54 percent of those with no family history of knee surgery had knee pain.
According to the researchers, the offspring of parents who had knee surgery generally weighed more, had more pain, weaker muscles, more splits in the cartilage and greater cartilage loss over time than those in the control group.
This study corroborates previous twin studies that have previously shown that there is a genetic component in the development of arthritis.
To avoid knee pain, we recommend you maintain a healthy body weight, exercise regularly and avoid high impact activity if you have mild arthritis.
If you’re suffering from knee pain, Joint Preservation Institute can help. We would be happy to discuss your treatment options. Contact us today to schedule a personal appointment.