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RCSEd awards first study into bone marrow lesions and continued pain following TKR

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28 Mar 2014

knee replacement

The RCSEd is supporting a research project investigating why 20% of patients who undergo total knee replacement (TKR) surgery continue to experience pain after treatment.

The research is aiming to improve treatment for around 15,000 patients each year for whom surgery fails to relieve knee pain.

Tom kurien borderThe College’s Clinical Research Training Fellowship (a joint grant with the Medical Research Council) was awarded to Mr Tom Kurien (pictured) of the University of Nottingham for his project, ‘Bone Marrow Lesions and the Central and Peripheral Drivers of Knee Osteoarthritis Pain. A Pre and Post Total Knee Replacement Study’.

Mr Kurien commented: “Despite the success of surgery, 20% of all patients that undergo total knee replacement still have ongoing pain. I will undertake the first study to assess whether retained bone marrow lesions cause pain after surgery using novel knee MRI sequences. This could lead to the development of new treatments to prevent and treat postoperative knee pain.

“This novel research will lead to a more individualised medical approach for the treatment of patients suffering from pain due to knee osteoarthritis. I aim to be able to predict who will be the 80% of patients that benefit from total knee replacement surgery in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

“Further to this research, specific interventions to counter components of the disease which are specific to the patient subsets not responding to the conventional surgical treatment will be identified.”

Osteoarthritis affects around 8 million people in the UK. Bone marrow lesions identified on MRI scans are more common in people with painful knee osteoarthritis. How and why these lesions cause pain is unknown. Total Knee Replacement surgery is an effective treatment for severe knee osteoarthritis and almost 78,000 operations were performed in the UK in 2012.

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