Washington: In the earliest stages of arthritis, high-impact exercises such as running or jumping may worsen cartilage damage, according to MIT engineers.Osteoarthritis leads to deterioration of cartilage, the rubbery tissue that prevents bones from rubbing together.By studying the molecular properties of cartilage, MIT engineers have now discovered how the earliest stages of arthritis make the tissue more susceptible to damage from physical activities such as running or jumping.The findings could help researchers develop tests to diagnose arthritis earlier in patients at high risk for the disease and also guide engineers in designing replacement cartilage.The results also suggested that athletes who suffer traumatic knee injuries, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) - which gives them a greater chance of developing arthritis later in life - should be cautious when returning to their sport following surgery.
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