Osteoarthritis (OA) is estimated to affect 630 million people worldwide – 15% of all the people on the globe. And the need for new and ever more effective osteoarthritis treatments will continue to expand as populations age.
That’s why Hospital for Special Surgery launched the HSS Osteoarthritis Initiative. The Osteoarthritis Initiative will coordinate all OA research studies and clinical trials at the hospital and with other important academic research institutions. In order to help as many people as possible, the OA Initiative will investigate new therapeutic possibilities at every stage of the disease:
Hospital for Special Surgery brings two unique advantages to discovering new ways to help people suffering from osteoarthritis:
Hospital for Special Surgery’s pace-setting musculoskeletal research is organized into five main programs. And every program contributes essential knowledge to OA research:
Presently, over 95% of all joint replacement surgeries are performed on patients with osteoarthritis. Since HSS performs more hip surgeries and more knee replacements than any other hospital in America, the hospital is in a unique position to evaluate current surgical outcomes while pioneering future surgical innovations.
HSS is currently leading the most complete total joint replacement study in U.S. history to help set the nation’s standards for most effective joint replacements. HSS and Weill Cornell have been designated a Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERT) with HSS focusing on joint arthroplasty.
Data will be collected from tens of thousands of patients who have had joint replacement surgery. The study will closely follow the patients’ healing and progress over time. Important physical outcomes such as pain, stiffness, and function will be measured. Significantly, patients will also report on how they feel about the impact of joint replacement on the quality of their daily lives.
One of the most significant impacts of the Information Age on medical research is the ability to run complex, advanced analyses comparing and contrasting aspects of actual case histories from an enormous numbers of patients. The key is gathering the information.
All patients at HSS are offered the opportunity to contribute their data - anonymously, of course - to medical research. The hospital maintains extensive and highly successful patient registries helping researchers uncover patterns and assess treatment outcomes in musculoskeletal conditions. Some conditions are a direct results of OA, like joint replacement, or can later develop into earlier OA onset, like ACL injury.
Innovative techniques developed by HSS radiologists can reveal changes in soft tissue indicating the earliest signs of osteoarthrits. HSS radiologists have even developed pulse sequencing protocols that can create clear MRI’s of joint replacements, despite the implant metal.
Ongoing collaborative studies using HSS imaging techniques are assessing and measuring the onset and progression of OA in specific populations, including patients who have been injured and/or had surgical repairs.
At the Leon Root MD Motion Analysis Laboratory, high tech sensors attached to the body measure precise aspects of movements like walking, reaching, bending, and running. These measurements can be compared to data on normal function, thus showing how the structural realignment and joint damage of OA affect the body. Further measurements can help determine what therapies and training can best improve function.
In other studies, childhood obesity, fitness, and engagement in sports, such as running, are being looked at as possible factors that may accelerate or delay the onset of OA.
The scientists and doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery keep you informed on HSS.edu about their specific and ongoing studies on all musculoskeletal conditions, treatments, and issues. Besides each Division’s research overview (linked below) the biography page of each HSS doctor and scientist links to their research, as well as their articles in noted professional journals.
You can also sign-up for the free HSS eNewsletter that brings a convenient monthly update on the latest news at the hospital right to your email inbox.
This webinar presents an overview of the clinical research process, the phases of a clinical trial, and insight into the importance of medical research in patient care.
Jessica Gordon, MD, MSc
Date Recorded: March 13, 2013