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

Arthritis Care Res. 1997 Feb;10(1):48-55. doi: 10.1002/art.1790100108.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Exercise Therapy / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyproline / analysis
  • Keratan Sulfate / analysis
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology*
  • Osteoarthritis / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Synovial Fluid / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Keratan Sulfate
  • Hydroxyproline