Peng is a 52-year-old man who has been ardently in love with exercising since he was a child. Aside from boxing, he also enjoys running and mountaineering. Half a year ago his knees started swelling and changing shape, but painkillers and hyaluronic acid did not help. Eventually he also began experiencing unbearable pains in his lumbar region and back, so he decided to see an orthopedist, who diagnosed that the cartilage in his knees was severely damaged and had caused patellofemoral arthritis.
Liu Hwa-chang, a doctor in the orthopedic surgery department at Taiwan Adventist Hospital, says that 80 percent of people over the age of 65 in Taiwan have degenerative arthritis in their knees, and that with the decrease in temperatures during autumn and winter, the knees will make crackling sounds while moving, particularly when going up and down stairs, getting up or squatting on the toilet. Not only is the pain unbearable, but in some serious cases the knee also changes shape. Degenerative arthritis is not limited to seniors. Clinical studies show that many people in their 40s and 50s suffer from the condition from being obese, excessive exercise, moving heavy objects or wearing high heels too often. If the kneecaps endure heavy weight for an extended amount of time it causes damage to cartilage, which can lead to arthritis or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
If overused, the patella, commonly known as the kneecap, can do harm to posterior cartilage and cause pain. Clinical studies show that people often go to the doctor due to pain in the kneecaps, but X-rays do not show anything. Orthopedists must first eliminate whether any abnormalities in the anterior or posterior joints exist and check to see if the joints of the kneecap are slanted or turning outward before determining if the patient has patellofemoral arthritis.
Aside from using conservative therapy to treat patellofemoral arthritis, strengthening quadricep muscles and losing weight can also be used. If a doctor’s evaluation permits, the use of surgery might also be considered.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)