In The News – March 2024


Stronger Thigh Muscles May Lower Need for Knee Replacement

Exercise to strengthen muscles that support the knee joint is recommended to ease pain from osteoarthritis. A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (November 2023) provided evidence that strong quadriceps muscles (in the front of the thigh) in relation to hamstrings (in the back of the thigh) may lower the need for knee replacement surgery. Researchers evaluated thigh muscle volume in 134 participants with knee osteoarthritis, 67 of whom had knee replacement and 67 who of whom did not. They found that those with a higher quadricep-to-hamstring ratio had 82% lower odds of undergoing knee replacement. The quadricep and hamstring muscle groups function as counter forces, and the balance between them is important for activity. While overall muscle volume is important, the study found that it is especially beneficial to strengthen the quadriceps.

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