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A case of personalized medicine in joint health

23 Jul 2014

We visited the “Centro Médico del Ejercicio AMS” in Malaga, to hear the case of a young athlete patient, initially suffering from osteoarthritis.

Dr. Guillermo Álvarez, Medical Director “Centro Médico del Ejercicio AMS” Málaga, Spain

The patient is a 32 year-old man who, despite consulting several specialists about a chronic pain in his knee, was unable to get a clear answer to his problem. He liked running but was never able to finish a race without feeling pain. Obviously, for a 32 year-old man this was a big sporting frustration.

The final diagnosis was that an alteration in the knee axis caused, as a secondary effect, a focal chondropathy in the lateral condyle.

This is a mild form of incipient osteoarthritis that, through time, may end up being a serious case of osteoarthritis needing a more aggressive treatment.

We considered, and it was explained to the patient, that it would be interesting to see if there was an inherent genetic predisposition to develop this problem.

The Arthrotest consists simply of collecting a simple of saliva from the mouth. Once the sample is collected is sent to the laboratory for analysis. The result of the Arthrotest has given a minimum value of an 8% probability of suffering a severe osteoarthritis needing a complete knee replacement within 8 years, and this indicates that the main problem is the one mentioned initially: the alteration of the knee axis.

The patient will be recommended to correct the knee axis alteration by wearing specially adapted soles. Besides this he will be advised to take an oral medicine called chondroprotection. Finally, we recommend a program of exercises, initially under supervision, to teach the patient, during 12 weeks working on strength, balance and motor control.

We are sure that I the future, if these measures are taken, the patient will probably be able to preserve his knee for a longer time, without having to resort to more aggressive treatment.