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What 6000-Year-Old Joints Tell Us About Our Knees

It is no secret that America has seen an increase in cases of osteoarthritis in knees, as well as an increase in patients who are seeking knee replacement surgeries, including in New York. For the most part, this has been attributed to an aging population and an increase in obesity within it. In August, NPR reported on a study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the article, some professors are suspicious that the rise of osteoarthritis of the knee is linked to something different.

Researchers compared the skeletons of individuals who died as long ago as 4000 B.C. with individuals who died in 2015, as well as the remains of others who had died everywhere in between. What they found is that osteoarthritis is “much more common today” than it was in Americans long ago–and this is true even when body mass and age are accounted for.

Although the research does not pinpoint a reason why, Daniel Lieberman, a professor at Harvard University, suspects that it might be tied to today’s current lack of physical activity in individuals. Dr. Richard Loeser, a rheumatologist who directs the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told NPR that dietary factors and sports injuries might also be contributing to the current uptick in arthritis.

While scientists continue to debate what exactly this discovery means, one thing is clear: knees will continue to wear out, and knee replacements will continue to offer a form of relief.

If your knees are chronically achy or otherwise painful and keeping you from doing the things you love, a joint replacement might be the ideal solution.

Joint replacement surgeries have significantly advanced in recent years, and you might be an ideal candidate for a partial replacement, a robotic-assisted surgery, or a minimally invasive approach. These days, with the right physical therapy, those undergoing a joint replacement surgery see minimal scarring and quicker healing than with traditional procedures. I have been behind the scenes of many of these advancements, and I am continually building my knowledge and skills to better serve patients.

There are several things that you should know if you are considering getting one, and I would be happy to discuss those points with you in greater detail during a consultation. The most important thing to know is that a joint replacement can drastically improve the way you function at home, at work, and at play. Many of my patients have been able to continue or get back into the hobbies and activities that they are passionate about thanks to their new joints, and I would be thrilled to help you get to the same point and add you to my continually growing list of satisfied clients. Check out some of these patient testimonials that shed light on how the joint replacement can be life-changing. If you have any questions about the procedure and if it is right for you, don’t hesitate to connect.

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