Making Strides in Knee Osteoarthritis Research

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) happens when the cartilage that cushions the knee joint starts to wear down. OA of the knee is more common as you get older, but it can also develop because of an old injury or other stresses on the joints. Loss of the knee cartilage can lead to long-term pain and loss of mobility and severely impact a person’s quality of life. Charlottesville Medical Research is one of the many clinics making strides in knee osteoarthritis treatments through the research studies we conduct.

Why are More OA Treatments Necessary?

For many people, joint replacement surgery has been the only option available to repair joints damaged by osteoarthritis. While surgery is a good option for some people, a knee replacement is still a significant operation, and the lifespan of an artificial joint typically lasts about 20 years on average. This means younger people may need more than one replacement surgery during their lifetime. In addition, some individuals don’t have a good outcome from their joint replacement.

OA of the knee diagram

These are some of the reasons we continue looking for better ways to treat osteoarthritis.

What’s New in OA of the Knee Treatments

Researchers are looking for new ways to treat knee osteoarthritis. Some of the methods they’re trying include:

  • Cartilage regeneration:
    • ANGPTL3 agonists are intra-articular injections that target damaged cartilage and modulate several pathways involved in cartilage regeneration.
    • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) involves the removal of a small sample of tissue from an individual to grow a fresh supply of cartilage cells in a laboratory. These cells are returned to the area of damage around three weeks later in another operation, where they form new cartilage.
    • Mesenchymal Stem Cells or MSCs use cells found in the bone marrow to stimulate the healing process and regenerate cartilage.

Older man with OA knee pain

  • Pain management:
    • Botox injections
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs with modified release
    • CCR2 antagonists inhibit the receptors involved in the inflammation and joint damage created by OA.
    • CNTX-4975 is an ultra-pure, synthetic form of trans-capsaicin injected directly into the site of pain. It targets the TRPV1 receptor that selectively inactivates the local pain fibers transmitting pain signals to the brain.

Keep knee osteoarthritis research moving

Promising new treatments are on the horizon for individuals with OA of the knee. To learn more about how you can help advance care options for OA of the knee, talk with the team here at Charlottesville Medical Research today! Contact us at (434) 817-2442 or visit our website to see our current OA studies.