Not guilty

One of the biggest mistakes people make with arthritis is to limit movement of the affected joint, which leads to stiffness and weakness that only makes matters worse. The resulting decline in neuromuscular function, especially balance and walking speed, is a major risk factor for falls and fall injuries that too often lead to costly hip replacements and lasting disability.

national survey in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among people with arthritis, the prevalence of two or more falls during the previous year was 137 percent higher and of fall injuries 149 percent higher than among their age mates without arthritis.

In 2011, osteoarthritis accounted for 95 percent of the 757,000 total knee replacements and 80 percent of the 512,000 total hip replacements in this country, the United States Bone and Joint Initiative has reported.

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