Maximising impact in orthopaedic research
Bones and Joints We must ensure that funded research is directed towards more meaningful and translational outcomes that lead to effective treatments, products and services for patients.
There are some 8.5 million people in the UK affected by orthopaedic problems. For many, their condition will respond to existing and effective treatments, but for others it can mean a life blighted by pain, disability and social isolation.
There is a growing need to ensure that funded research is directed towards translational outcomes that deliver real and meaningful outcomes for these patients.
In the UK, potentially life-changing research is being conducted that has the potential to revolutionise the quality of life for people suffering from a range of orthopaedic conditions.
A key research area is tackling arthritis – a common, debilitating condition that degenerates the cartilage in the joint and causes great pain and discomfort for patients. Once an individual develops pain (often the first symptom they notice), irreversible joint damage has already taken place. As a result, there are now 160,000 hip and knee replacements carried out in the UK each year.
Major research is also taking place into infection-related conditions which are a serious challenge for both patients and the NHS. Treatment is a growing issue and can lead to the development of antimicrobial resistance and in some cases the loss of life.
With an ageing population, osteoporosis is a growing problem. This degenerative condition is the cause of bone fracture in 1 in 3 females and 1 in 5 males over the age of 50, and affects around 3 million people in the UK and 200 million people worldwide.
Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) is one of the leading charities working to improve the quality of life for patients with such conditions with the ultimate aim of eliminating bone and joint disease.
Alongside a plan to significantly increase the amount of future funding, we also aim to incentivise and fund high quality translational research that delivers real and meaningful outcomes for patients.
Orthopaedic conditions arising as a direct consequence of traumatic experiences such as car accidents, falls, sports and combat related injuries are greatly under-funded and an under-studied area of science.
Tragically, many military personnel suffer from orthopaedic problems after blast and other combat injuries. Unfortunately, new bone growth in the stump following amputation means that they cannot use artificial limbs and face a life wheelchair bound.
It’s an area where more translational research is desperately needed and ORUK is at the forefront of some exciting work which could lead to an effective treatment that can change the lives of many brave servicemen and women.