Sound diagnostics in osteoarthritis: A broken joint sounds different

Researchers have found a method to detect cartilage damage at the knee at an early stage. For this, they took advantage of the noise, the power of a broken joint. In this way, osteoarthritis could be already detected at an early stage and treated.

We all know that Our joints can give significant noise. A broken joint is by its sound even from a healthy cow, a Team of German scientists have now found out.

The researchers had 28 participants in the study, all of which have had cartilage damage to the knees. The sounds that emerged were recorded with a special technique: the so-called acoustic emission analysis. This showed that the results of the sound diagnosis agreed in 95 percent of cases with pre-made MRI-recordings. Almost all radiologically confirmed damage were also discovered by using sound diagnosis.

The researchers see a great potential: "The sound diagnostics may notice even earlier than x-rays or MRI of a joint, wear and tear,” says study author Prof. Dr. Udo Wolf of the University of Fulda. Cartilage damage can be seen on x-ray images or MRI scans only if the cartilage has already fallen sharply, and as a treatment option, only the Insertion of a new joint is out of the question. "If we could find out early on that osteoarthritis begins, you could act in a timely manner, contrary to therapeutically, for example, with compression treatments or Krafttraining", the physiotherapist Wolf. For this proof, there is a need, however, further clinical studies. NK