Painful arthritis of the knee is on the rise — as is the number of middle-aged people who refuse to let the condition interfere with their favorite sports or exercise. Active people in their 40s and 50s are challenging doctors to provide treatments that not only keep them walking but keep them running and jumping as well.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is happening more and more in the 40-to-60 age range, doctors say; even people in their late 30s are seeking medical attention. In a 2007 study, scientists at Exponent Inc., a scientific consulting firm, projected that the demand for replacement knee joints would more than sextuple by 2030, with 3.48 million people in need of a new knee.
On the flip side, many people are obese. The increased weight they carry adds to pressure on the knee.