Effects of exercise on knee joints with osteoarthritis: A pilot study of biologic markers



Objective. To determine the effects of low intensity weight-bearing exercise on osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

Methods. Synovial fluid keratan sulfate (KS) and hydroxyproline were measured as markers of cartilage degradation. The Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS) were used to measure health status, and a visual analog scale for pain assessment was used before and after intervention. An exercise (EX) group (n = 15) received a thrice-weekly 12-week low intensity exercise program and a weekly educational program, and a minimal treatment (Min RX) group (n = 15) received only the education program.

Results. Pain levels declined in the EX group, and the Min RX group showed improvement on the AIMS. Synovial fluid was obtained in 11 subjects before and after the intervention. Levels of KS and hydroxyproline did not change.

Conclusion. Further study of exercise effects should include both clinical and biologic parameters to examine the outcome of exercise as a therapeutic intervention in OA of the knee.