I notice all the older women in my family either have their hip or knee (sometimes both!) replaced. What can I do to avoid this myself?
Although there may be a genetic link to joint problems like arthritis, obesity remains the biggest risk factor for hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA). Aging with the degenerative changes that come with aging is the second biggest risk factor.

Women seem to be affected by knee OA more often than men. Although you can't do much about your age or your gender, risk factors like body weight, activity level, and hibitual positions can be modified.

A recent study of sitting positions while on the floor linked bent-knee floor activities with an increased risk of knee OA. Daily use of the lotus position, squatting, and side-knee bending does put increased stress on the knee joint leading to cartilage break down and arthritis. Kneeling does not seem to have the same effect.

Monitoring your weight and avoiding too much knee flexion for long periods of time are two risk factors within your control. Other risk factors such as knee alignment can be evaluated, too.