Question: My mother, who is 74, and her brother both have knee problems. My mother had a knee replacement. I'm 50 and sometimes my knees ache after I walk or use the stairs. Can knee problems be genetic? If I lose weight, will that help?
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Yes, knee problems can be genetic. Assuming you are clinically overweight, weight loss will be the most effective single change that will positively delay the onset of degenerative disease.
Unfortunately, many of us delay this preventive measure until it is too late to be effective. If you have already worn your joint cartilage asymmetrically or excessively, you may be able to benefit from some new, minimally invasive procedures. Total knee replacements are maximally invasive, and are effective for those with intractable deformity or pain.