Lace Up, Running Isn’t Bad For Your Knees

    I'm often asked by those who know I like to run why an Orthopedic Surgeon would pick this form of exercise, and don't I know it's bad for the knees? 

    Well, I just had 26 miles and a beautiful day in May to think about this question while running the Bayshore Marathon. It's a great race with immense community support organized on a fast course. If you're inclined to run a marathon, this would be the one I’d suggest.  My knees were sore occasionally during the three plus hours I was running, but I was secure in the knowledge that I wasn't causing damage. 

     One of the things I do for a living as an Orthopedic Surgeon is replace damaged knee joints. In the hundreds of knees I’ve resurfaced with metal and plastic over that last decade, I’ve been impressed that I've hardly ever had to replace a runner's knee. Despite how popular distance running has become, I’d always felt that the benefits of running for overall health and weight reduction probably outweigh any downside stress on the knee joint.

     Sure enough, a recent study published this year appears to confirm my suspicion. The study pooled data available from many past studies about risk factors for progression of arthritis, and found that regular exercise, specifically running, was not associated with the development of painful arthritis. 

     Now this may not be true if you've had a past knee injury, or if your knee hurts and swells every time you run. If you like running and have these issues call your doctor. Otherwise, the next time a well-meaning friend or relative tries to tell you running is bad for your knees, tell them to get off the couch, lace up and head out for a healthy run.

      If you’re looking to get into the sport, or already an avid runner looking for a challenge check out the races we’ve listed below or visit this website for events happening near you! You're much more likely to see me at the starting line than in my operating room.

 - Dr. Henne


Below are a couple upcoming races in the West Michigan region we encourage you to check out:

August 1st: Millennium Triathlon benefiting the Children’s Advocacy Center , Children’s Assessment Center and Kent County Parks Foundation

August 15th: Insane Inflatable 5K benefiting Shields of Hope

August 16th: Kids Adventure Challenge presented by Gazelle Sports

August 22nd: It’s Glow Time benefiting the West Michigan Sports Commission

August 23rd: Michigan Titanium - USAT Sanctioned Full, Half & Olympic Distance Triathlons in support of a healthy community

September 12th: Dash for Dogs 5K benefiting the Muskegon Humane Society

September 19th: West Michigan’s Race for the Cure benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation