Goal 7- Develop approaches to reduce the need for, and increase the life of, joint replacement.
Develop approaches to reduce the need for, and increase the life of, joint replacement
Advances in knowledge will enable the development of new approaches to preserving joint function and minimising pain resulting from arthritis and therefore postpone the need for joint replacement. Such replacements will also last longer and the current rate of complications will be cut by 50 per cent.
How we will measure progress
The National Joint Register (NJR) measures the long term outcome of patients following joint replacement particularly of the hip and knee. Arthritis Research UK is planning a joint venture with the NJR to use this unique tool to monitor the success of joint replacement over time both in terms of joint survival, as well as complications and patient satisfaction.
Where we are now
Currently over 90 per cent of joint replacements are considered to provide a satisfactory outcome. However, unless there are alternative interventions to postpone or reduce the severity of osteoarthritis, joint replacements will need to be done earlier because of (a) increasing survival in the population and (b) the epidemic of obesity leading to earlier onset osteoarthritis. Thus, the need to postpone joint replacement for longer, and for joints replaced to last longer, is increasing.
What we will be doing?
Supporting through a portfolio of world class research the development of novel approaches through bioengineering and biomechanics technologies including:
- New rehabilitation and exercise programmes designed to delay or reduce the joint destruction process
- Simpler approaches to surgical intervention to reduce morbidity and enhance long term success
- Identifying surgical and other techniques appropriate for younger patients which can last for up to 50 years
- Raising awareness of the risks of obesity and long term consequences of sports injuries.