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We move less physically due to the conveniences of modern life. This has a serious cost to us; decrease in the amount of muscle in our body. (sarcopenia) When our amount of muscle decreases, more load is placed on our load-bearing joints such as hips, knees and ankles. In addition, obesity caused by wrong eating habits and lack of movement due to working conditions, and the incidence of Joint Calcification (Osteoarthritis) that occurs with advancing age is increasing with many chronic diseases. In this process, we received information from Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist Operator Doctor Utku Erdem Özer about the mistakes we know right and what to do.

What is joint calcification and why does it occur?

The most common cause of joint calcification is the deterioration of the articular cartilage for no known reason. This group constitutes more than 90% of patients. Most of the reasons we know are mechanical problems. Especially in patients with advanced angular disorders in their legs, we often see knee calcification. This is due to the fact that the loads from the upper side are collected on one side of the knee joint and the load is not evenly distributed. It is the excessive wear of the cartilage in that area of the joint. On the other hand, if a part or almost all of the meniscus is removed after surgery due to a meniscus tear, the possibility of calcification of the knee joint is high. We observe an increase in pain especially when walking, climbing stairs and running in patients.

Does Exercising Damage Mild To Moderate Knee Calcification?

As the incidence of joint calcification in society increases, prejudices about the treatment of this disease also increase. When you have articular cartilage calcification (Osteoarthritis) in your knee, most of the doctors in the relevant branch ask you not to run and stop exercising. They think that the cause of your knee problem is mechanical wear and tear in the cartilage. When the majority of patients experience Ekrem Calcification, they think that their knee pain will get worse with exercise. In fact, the opposite is often true. Exercising has been proven to be one of the most effective treatment options for mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis.

What are the researches and practices on this subject in the world?

Studies have shown that after running sports and resistance exercises, chemicals that are harmful to articular cartilage decrease in the knee joint. At the same time, it was concluded that running sports positively affects the cartilage health of the knee joint. In other words, our articular cartilage likes regular loading. Again, most studies have shown that the structure of the articular cartilage is not adversely affected by exercise, and knee pain improves with exercise. Exercise reduces pain, increases strength, and prevents muscle wasting, and may delay surgical treatment by increasing quality of life. Most people think that running will cause calcification of the knee joint and wear and tear of the articular cartilage. Even those who run for a healthy life, for fun and those who have run an average of 35 kilometers a week at a professional level for more than 40 years; In the knee joint, no relation to articular cartilage damage was found. Also, running has been shown to slow functional aspects of musculoskeletal aging. Exercise is the best treatment for patients with deteriorating knee cartilage or calcification of the knee joint. Knee cartilage does not wear out by running or walking.

What is the situation for Professional Athletes?

The situation in professional athletes varies according to the branch; If the sport is open to trauma such as football, basketball, volleyball, trauma, anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tears may occur, as well as joint cartilage may be damaged.

In sports such as running, cycling and swimming, we almost never expect articular cartilage problems, because trauma is almost absent in these sports.

What should professionals who have joint cartilage problems do?

The first thing to do is to ensure that the muscle group around the problem joint is strong and flexible enough, for this, personalized exercise programs should be prepared and the athlete should perform these therapeutic exercises under the supervision of a professional.

What can be done outside of exercise?

Our priority should definitely be exercise, if we cannot achieve adequate recovery with exercise, we can count intra-articular injections (hyaluronic acid, PRP, stem cell) and surgical treatment options.

What about preventive measures? What can be done at an early age?

Injury prevention exercise programs have been applied for many years, especially in football. Most of the studies are focused on the “Anterior Cruciate Ligament” injury prevention programs especially in the knee joint. The result of these studies is that 2/3 of anterior cruciate ligament injuries can be prevented when specially prescribed exercise programs are applied. Cartilage injuries are no different.


Kiss. Dr. Utku Erdem Özer Contact

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