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New and with osteoarthritis. Anyone else?

Hi there! I'm new here... 35 year old chica (it still feels weird calling myself woman. Sounds too old maybe?)

I was another orthotic wearer. Had my first pair in Europe when I was 3! I am now wearing minimal shoes or am barefoot to walk in 5 miles every day. I feel comfortable walking in minimal footwear and have no pain.

I used to run with a heavy heel strike (used to do so when I walk, too)and I have bad genetics on my dad's side of the family. Everyone on that side has had knee replacements, arthritis, etc. I never ran more than ten miles a week, but I really messed up my knee.

I had my knee scoped 5 years ago and I had a bone spur and grade 4 (worse kind, bone on bone) osteoarthritis. This is not meniscal cartilage, which is mostly pain-free after surgery. It is articular cartilage and I can still feel pain in it if I overdo things. Physical therapy does not help.

I have been practicing running in minimal shoes and was ok for a few weeks, but I overdid it yesterday and my knee is in major pain. I think I need to wait a bit and then try running really barefoot, practice perfect form.

So, I'm wondering if anyone with advanced osteoarthritis of the knees (articular cartilage, not mensical)is able to run barefoot because of minimal impact.

I could keep walking instead, but I really like the feeling of running!! :0)


Answers and Replies


Someone posted a study recently about the benifits of barefoot for those with arthritis of the knee, but I think it only addressed walking.

I have fibromyalgia, and as one of my coaches said: "Step one is to get healthy. Step two is to get fit. Step three is to get efficient. Getting fast might be step four."*

I think those of us with complicating issues have to foccus longer on the getting healthy part. It only took me three months to rehabilitate my feet, but the rest of my body has a long way to go. You may not be ready for running yet, it may take a long time for the cartilige and bone to remodel into a healthy shape, but you can still make progress with lots of walking and the occasional easy run.

When you run, how hard are you running? Have you tried a really slow run?

*Quote from Gordo on Minimalist Runner:


I agree with the step one get healthy! I still can't run because of chronic tendinitis. But I'm working up to it by walking (in minimalist footwear of course) daily. I may never run...I don't know, but everytime I try I end up limping for a while. Walking even very fast does not do this to me.

Also I would look into supplements and a healthy diet that may help rebuild cartilage.

One step at a time, right?



Thanks to both :0) I'm sure I overdid things by working up to running a mile and a half within 3 or 4 weeks. I figured wince I already walked 5 miles in minimal shoes, I'd be ok.

I'm not ever going to get better, unfortunately. Articular cartilage doesn't regenerate. My only hope at this point is a knee replacement, but I (and my doc) would rather avoid that.

My ankles get sore quickly (my family has hyper-flexible ligaments), so I'm hoping that by strengthening them, my knee position will be more stable when I run.

I'm pretty stubborn, but this is the 3rd or 4th time I've tried working up to running, and like the both of you above, it seems to never quite happen :0)

I'll keep trying more slowly...

Thanks for answering so quickly!




Articular cartilage doesn't regenerate.


I wouldn't totally give up on the idea. They used to say the brain doesn't regenerate, but they've since found that new pathways can form around the damaged areas. The body is an amazing machine, and changing the conditions under which the damage occurred may lead to some positive adaptation over time.


Five years with no cartilage has not been fun. I can feel the exact spot where the cartilage has gone.

I don't want a knee replacement, though. If I don't run, I can probably go on indefinitely this way. If I do run, it's kind of a crap shoot.

Too bad I love running so much. Kinda disheartening because my mom and brother are marathoners, and my youngest brother just completed a 100 miler. I'm the only one other than my dad with the bad bad knees.

Just keep swimmin... just keep swimming... (or walking... I walked 1,500 miles last year! and half were in flip-flops!)


You should try googling "rebuild cartilage naturally" or something like that. You'll get a lot of info. :)

Your doctor may tell you it can't be done but, it won't hurt to try, right? If it were me, I'd try, before I opted for surgery.

In fact I'll be looking into it for my husband who has knee issues also.


When I had a diagnosis of arthritis in my left big toe and my left hip I was skeptical to put it politely. They even have a term for it asymmetric arthritis....boy does that sound like making up a name for what ever. Anyway research into my T2 diabetes was leading me to low carb diet and now so was a solution to arthritis. Well WOW I mean WOW I was so surprised the benefits to my joints as well as my T2. So not sure it will regrow cartilage but in case they are not seeing what they think they are try going low carb and see if it helps


Grain free specifically may be helpful. Potatoes and fruits don't have the pro-inflammatory compounds found in grains. If your issues include blood sugar problems, going all the way low carb with meats and greens is a good way to go.

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