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Treatment Strategies for the Master Athlete With Known Arthritis of the Hip and Knee

Straker, Jonathan Scott MS, PT, SCS, ATC; Vannatta, Charles N. PT, DPT; Waldron, Kristen PT, DPT

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January/March 2016 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 39–54
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000090
The Aging Athlete

Hip and knee arthritis can afflict individuals who continue to pursue athletic endeavors as they age. For the master athlete, conservative treatment approaches may be preferred as an initial management strategy to minimize symptoms and promote continued participation in their chosen activity. Current literature is reviewed to provide a summary of conservative, nonpharmacologic treatment options including aspects of patient education, weight management, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise. Mechanical measures, including bracing, footwear, and foot orthotics/insoles designed to decrease joint loading, are discussed. Biomechanical considerations for the application of gait retraining and joint unloading technology are presented.

Gundersen Health System, Department of Sports Medicine (Mr Straker), and Gundersen Health System, Gundersen Medical Foundation Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program (Drs Vannatta and Waldron), La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Correspondence: Jonathan Scott Straker, MS, PT, SCS, ATC, Gundersen Health System, Department of Sports Medicine, 3111 Gundersen Dr, Onalaska, WI 54650 (

The authors are employees of Gundersen Health System. Kristen Waldron and Charles N. Vannatta are residents of the Gundersen Medical Foundation Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. There are no funding sources.

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