I'm only 42 years old and need surgery to realign my knee because of osteoarthritis. Is there any way to put this off at least a few more years?

Surgery is often used when the knee wears down more on one side than the other. An operation to change the angle of the knee (called osteotomy) is used with some success. There can be problems with this operation, so researchers are looking for some other safe options.

One of these new options is the use of a special insole inserted into the shoe. The insole is made of a rubber sponge material so it's firm enough to support the bones in the ankle, but it's soft enough to be comfortable. The insole is wedged by eight to 12 mm and held in place with an elastic strap.

A new study from Japan using the wedge showed patients could walk farther with fewer symptoms during activity and at rest. More studies are needed to find other alternatives to surgery for young patients with severe problems from osteoarthritis.