A new study shows that arthritis in the knee is linked to the common trait of having one leg that is longer than the other. Whether or not leg length differential is a direct cause of osteoarthritis is not clear, but the findings may allow people to take preventive measures before the onset of the chronic and painful condition.
Developing early strategies for treatment may be possible, says Derek Cooke, Queen's University adjunct professor and a co-author of the study.
"Most pediatricians adopt a 'wait and see' attitude for children with limb misalignment when they're growing," says Dr. Cooke. "If we can spot factors creating changes in alignment early in bone development, theoretically we could stop or slow down the progression of osteoarthritis."