Strange Bedfellows Make Progress at HSS Osteoarthritis Summit

Orthopedics This Week—March 26, 2012

What if you locked clinicians, researchers, insurers, device manufacturers and others all in the same room for a good cause? Progress! Tim Wright, M.D., Kirby Chair of Orthopedic Biomechanics at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) was co-chair of a recent landmark event at HSS: the Osteoarthritis Summit: Frontiers in OA Research, Prevention, and Care. Dr. Wright told OTW, "While there is a history of events focused on osteoarthritis, these typically included only researchers and clinicians. We brought together all possible stakeholders for the first time: researchers, clinicians on the orthopedic surgery side, clinicians from rheumatology, device and pharmaceutical reps, and insurers.

What is evident is that there are two effective treatments—and a fair amount of research to back them up—weight loss and moderate exercise. John Hardin, Arthritis Foundation VP of Research, challenged us to begin thinking about just getting base hits...that we don't want to try for a home run in taking on OA, because it's not the most effective way to make progress. For example, we know that post traumatic arthritis often happens after a meniscal tear. With John's approach, we'd say, 'What can we understand about that scenario? Maybe we can impact the injured cartilage right after the trauma…maybe that is a place to start. The folks from industry thought that this was an intriguing approach."

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