ORC research teams developed many of the techniques for arthroscopic surgery that address joint problems and sustain athletic function. The ORC has identified and defined many new clinical conditions, and documented the best methods for diagnosis and treatment by using state-of-the-art research to find new methods to rehabilitate damaged joints, prevent or decrease joint disease and musculoskeletal injuries, offer early detection, and develop better treatments that prevent permanent joint damage for both horses and humans.
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This focus addresses the repair of articular cartilage defects, tendons, ligaments, and menisci. The ORC is also investigating materials for use as implantation media and tissue engineering applications, and evaluating effective gene therapy techniques and select blood products for repair and healing applications.
The ORC is developing novel imaging techniques, body fluid markers, and molecular monitoring to evaluate the pathogenesis of bone and joint disease, to provide early detection of disease processes, and to monitor therapy. The long-term goal of this focus is to prevent severe osteoarthritis or failure of joints, tendons, ligaments, and menisci.
The ongoing mission of this focus is to develop methods of detecting early microfracture subchondral bone damage in the clinical patient before it becomes a severe or catastrophic injury. The ORC has used imaging techniques and studied fluid biomarkers with promising results, and considered other factors, such as race track surface and conformation.
Objective evaluation of potential and currently available pharmaceuticals has been a significant focus of this area. The ORC also examines biologic inhibitors of critical mediators in joint disease, novel protein therapies, gene therapy techniques and mesenchymal stem cell therapies.
The ORC assesses integrative therapies, including manipulation and acupuncture for management of musculoskeletal disease and pain, as well as rehabilitative techniques of swimming, underwater treadmilling, and hyperbaric therapy.