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DNA, India
21 December 2010
Bangalore, India

The shoes that we wear have a substantial impact on the load on the knee joints, particularly when we walk, according to a recent study published online in the journal Arthritis Care and Research. It concluded that the regular flip–flops and sneakers with flexible soles are easier on the knees than clogs or even special walking shoes.

According to Dr HM Prasanna, chief orthopaedic surgeon and managing director, Pristine Hospital, "Over usage of high heels in an Indian scenario leads to osteoarthritis. Indian women tend to gain more weight around the waist area, thus putting pressure on the knees. This can lead to osteoarthritis over a period of time."

‘Visco supplementation’ is the latest therapy that osteoarthritis patients are opting for to treat knee pain. It provides pain relief for six months with a single injection and is now being given to people with knee osteoarthritis who fail to respond to traditional therapies, such as oral anti–inflammatory or analgesic medications or exercise.

According to Dr Chandramouli, specialist in orthopaedics, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore, "Visco supplementation is a kind of jelly or lubricant, injected to mimic the joint fluid called synovial fluid. This injection decreases the intensity of pain and at the same time the mobility of the joint is increased. It is very useful in the initial stages of osteoarthritis."

The knee joint is affected the most in osteoarthritis and hence visco supplementations are used. The awareness of visco supplementation is minimal.

"Over the last five years, usage of visco supplementation has increased ten–fold. One injection works well for six to eight months, after which it has to be repeated," said Dr Prasanna.

And who is eligible for visco supplementation? Anyone with stage two or three of osteoarthritis can opt for this injection as the best option.

"For anyone with stage one osteoarthritis oral medication and physiotherapy is enough and for stage four patients, knee replacement surgery is required," said Dr Prasanna.

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