However now experts have struck upon a new way to predict the progression of osteoarthritis in individual patients which could help improve treatment.
Scientists from the University of Eatern Finland said a cartilage degeneration algorithm can predict the onset of the condition.
They said the algorithm could facilitate clinical decision making in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease that deteriorates the articular cartilage.
Experts said the most important risk factors are ageing and overweight, and osteoarthritis is common especially in joints that are subject to heavy loading.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured and the condition often leads to joint replacement.
Currently methods of looking at osteoarthritis in patients don’t predict the progression of the condition.
Scientists tested the ability of a cartilage degeneration algorithm to predict the progression of osteoarthritis in patients and to grade the severity of their disease by using the Kellgren-Lawrence classification.
The algorithm was applied to 21 patients who were divided into three groups – those without osteoarthritis, those with mild osteoarthritis and patients with severe osteoarthritis.
The patients were divided into the groups based on their Kellgren-Lawrence grades defined experimentally after a four-year follow-up.
The algorithm was applied at the start of the follow-up, and the findings were compared against the four-year follow-up data.
Based on this information, the researchers found that the algorithm was able to categorise patients into their correct groups.
The degeneration algorithm is based on stresses experienced by the knee joint during walking, and these were simulated on a computer.
Scientists said the algorithm assumes that stresses exceeding a certain threshold during walking will cause degeneration in the cartilage of the knee.
Experts said this degeneration algorithm shows great potential in predicting progression of osteoarthritis in the knee in individual patients.
The new algorithm could help doctors make clinical decisions for patients with osteoarthritis.
Experts said it could help doctors slow down symptoms and even stop the progression of the disease.
The findings were published in Scientific Reports.
This comes after a woman hailed a ‘miracle’ device she said stops arthritis pain.