New York, NY—February 4, 2010
"Like the Arthritis Foundation, we are focusing our extensive clinical and research resources on raising awareness of the potentially debilitating effects of osteoarthritis in this country," said Stephen Paget, M.D., physician-in-chief and chair of the division of rheumatology at HSS. "We applaud the efforts of the Arthritis Foundation and the Ad Council as they begin a multi-year initiative to improve the understanding of osteoarthritis, and we join them with our commitment to identify better methods to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease," Dr. Paget continued.
Hospital for Special Surgery has the largest group of rheumatologists of any hospital in the country. With a focus on muscle, bone and joint pain, orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, physiatrists, radiologists and pain management specialists attend to 240,000 patient visits annually.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It affects more than 27 million Americans, mostly adults over the age of 65, and is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. While the painful symptoms of OA can be easily recognized, scientists continue research on its root causes. With prevalence of the disease expected to rise within the next decade, OA, because it affects so many, is considered one of the most urgent research challenges of the 21st century.
Traditionally OA has been associated with an older demographic, but as active baby boomers age and obesity rates rise, increasing numbers of younger people are developing OA symptoms.
According to Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO of HSS, "Our scientists and clinicians are innovating both nonsurgical and surgical treatments that will slow the progression of osteoarthritis, and combining multi-disciplinary approaches to identify risk factors, and to prevent and reduce inflammation at its onset."
While the key is prevention through education, there is a great deal of research occurring around treatment as well. "One key focus of our research," according to Thomas P. Sculco, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief at HSS, "is identifying new and better surgical solutions for advanced cases involving novel biomaterials, the development of inventive implant designs and minimally invasive surgical techniques. Joint replacement registries will also play a central role in benefiting the next generation in a national effort."
"Through our broad-reaching campaign, we hope to make a difference in the lives of those who have arthritis," said John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "There are steps people can take today that can change the course of this disease. We are proud to have Hospital for Special Surgery helping with others to communicate the preventative steps and demonstrate the treatment success that is now possible for people with osteoarthritis."
Complementing the Arthritis Foundation’s extensive educational outreach, Special Surgery offers patient education with classes for early stage and postoperative care. A team of dedicated professionally trained physical therapists, led by Vice President Rehabilitation JeMe Cioppa-Mosca, PT, is focused on restoring patient function before or after surgery. In addition, The Joint Mobility Center provides comprehensive rehabilitative services tailored to patients with musculoskeletal problems resulting from OA of the shoulders, hips, knees and spine.
"Knowledge is a great healer," said Laura Robbins, DSW, vice president of education and academic affairs at HSS and past chair of the Arthritis Foundation. "At HSS we have a broad spectrum of community-based programs focused on prevention offered through our Education Division and we recently introduced a comprehensive online resource on OA at www.hss.edu/osteoarthritis. The public awareness and voice for osteoarthritis that this new campaign provides – coupled with the knowledge scientists and clinicians now seek – make this initiative an important public health advance for every American."
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.