New Hydrogel That Mimics Cartilage Could Make Knee Repairs Easier


Intriguing news from Science Alert reports that researchers have created a cartilage-like hydrogel that could make it easier to fix knee injuries such as torn menisci. The gel can be made-to-order with 3-D manufacturing to fit each individual’s knees.

The knee is the mostly commonly injured joint by athletes, accounting for 2.5 million sports-related injuries seen in the emergency department annually. Meniscal tears occur in 35 percent of people over the age of 50 — with between 100,000 and 200,000 injuries occurring every year. In the past, standard protocol for fixing these injuries was surgery, followed up by what sometimes can be a lengthy recovery.

A couple of years ago a randomized control trial demonstrated the effectiveness of using a structured exercise program to rehabilitate your knee either prior to surgical repair, or in many cases, instead of a surgical repair. The study also found that rehabilitation programs may offer you the same results as surgical repair depending upon several factors.

In that light, if you have aching knees due to osteoarthritis, exercise is absolutely crucial to your well-being. The notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception; the evidence points to exercise having a positive impact on joint tissues.

Addressing your diet is also important, both for weight loss and for controlling inflammation and promoting healthy bones and cartilage, as people who eat a processed and fried food diet high in sugars and red meat are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Homemade bone broth is an outstanding staple food if you have arthritis, as it contains a number of important nutrients for your bones and joints, including minerals, components of collagen and cartilage, silicon, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate.

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