Arthritis isn’t always from the wear and tear of getting older — younger adults too often get it after suffering knee or ankle injuries. New research suggests it might one day be possible to stave off that painful legacy.
University of Iowa scientists used pigs to mimic what happens with a broken ankle. They found joint injuries make the energy factories inside cartilage cells go haywire — and that injecting certain drugs right after the injury blocked the damage and preserved the animals’ cartilage.
More research is needed to test if such an approach might work in people. For now, doctors say the best advice is to guard an old injury against more wear and tear by strengthening the muscles that support that joint.
The Iowa research was published Wednesday.