Knee and Osteoarthritis Research

Our knee research program has evolved over the years based on our epidemiology studies that have revealed knee ligament injuries are occurring at epidemic proportions and that very little is known regarding the treatment of this disorder. Further, we have determined that knee ligament injuries can lead to further intra-articular injury and degenerative joint disease. The long term goal of our knee research program is to understand the risk factors that pre-dispose subjects to knee trauma, to understand the degenerative disease process associated with knee ligament injury, and to develop improved techniques to diagnose, reconstruct, and rehabilitate subjects with knee ligament injuries.

Our knee biomechanics research has included studies of knee ligament strain in humans, the effect of initial ACL autograft strain values on the healing response, the development of a new measurement system to quantify knee mechanics interoperatively, and studies of knee and total knee arthroplasty biomechanics (with emphasis on patello-femoral and tibial femoral kinematics). We have interests in developing measurement tools to quantify patello-femoral and tibio-femoral contact stress in vivo. These works are unique and innovative in that they will be performed in human subjects. We are the only group in the world who is performing this work at this particular point in time.

Our clinical knee research has included investigations of the effect of rehabilitation on the healing of knee ligament grafts, cartilage markers of joint metabolism and degradation in joint fluid and serum after meniscus injury and treatment, and a prospective study of knee injury risk factors in competitive alpine ski racers. These studies are unique in that they will, for the first time, provide insight into the effect of knee ligament disruption on the healing response of the knee. We have also devised a study to prospectively evaluate a group of ski racers (some of whom will sustain severe knee sprains) in order to identify factors predisposing people to these injuries.

  • A Case-Control Study of ACL Injury Risk Factors
    Principal Investigator: Bruce D. Beynnon, Ph.D.
    Current Funding Agency: N.I.H.
    The goal of this project is to perform a comprehensive investigation of potential ACL injury risk factors. The primary hypothesis is that one or a combination of risk factors can be used to identify athletes at increased risk of ACL injury. The secondary hypothesis is that the effects of individual risk factors are different for men and women.
  • The Relationship Between Biomarkers of Cartilage Metabolism and OA
    Principal Investigator: Bruce D. Beynnon, Ph.D.
    Past Funding Agency: N.I.H.
    The goal of this project is to measure the temporal changes in the concentrations of the biomarkers of articular cartilage metabolism obtained from synovial fluid samples, and joint space width narrowing (a validated indicator of the progression of OA).

Faculty Collaborators