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A Matter of Feet

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If your knees don’t hurt yet, good.

But chances are 1 in 2 they will. Arthritic knee pain hits nearly half of us by 85.

Odds are worse for obese Americans: 2 in 3.

Can orthotics -- wedge-shaped insoles -- help? They change your knees weight bearing load from the middle of your knee to its inner margins.

A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association pooled data from 12 clinical trials, involving more than 800 patients whose knees hurt.

About 500 used wedge insoles. The rest used flat ones, or none.

The news is not encouraging for wedges. Compared to flats or nothing, they added no significant benefit in pain relief.

But: they are non-invasive, and certainly way less expensive than surgery.