Arthritis :: Knee noises could provide clue to arthritis

Knees emit sound when the body moves and it could provide a clue to treat arthritis, bringing about a revolution in the way the disease is measured and monitored now.

A University of Central Lancashire team believes that an arthritic knee emits high frequency wave patterns, which differ from those generated by a healthy knee, reported online edition of BBC News.

The team, led by John Goodacre, hopes to harness a technique called acoustic emission, used by engineers to detect unsafe buildings and bridges.

The aim is to develop a hand held device to analyse this high frequency noises. The scientists said it could help them assess whether arthritis is worsening or responding to therapy.

Other techniques such as ultrasound and MRI are both increasingly used but are expensive.

The team hopes to analyse the high frequency sound from joints by using wide-band acoustic sensors attached to a microphone on a patient’s knee.

As patients flex and extend their knees, the sensors measure the sound frequency emitted by the knee.

“We hope to produce a convenient, non-invasive portable tool for use by doctors and other health professionals to objectively monitor arthritis and responses to treatment,” Goodacre said.

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