NYC Healthcare News



Study identifies options for restoring knee cartilage lubrication to prevent OA

October 05, 2015

Jay, who is also a physician with University Emergency Medicine Foundation in Providence, stresses that this study is important for another reason. "This is a huge advance over the existing technology of viscosupplementation injections. The concept was good, but the chemistry isn't there to support it." Jay continues, "When viscosupplements were approved as devices in the 90s, it was thought then that hyaluronic acid used in this treatment was tied to joint lubrication because it was viscous. We now know that joint lubrication has little to do with viscosity. We are inventing a new type of joint lubrication strategy: Tribosupplementation, taken from the Greek, meaning to wear or to rub" "

Jay notes, "Viscosupplementation is a $500 million per year device market that just doesn't work particularly well. Past studies by us and others indicate this. We now need a paradigm shift in how we are thinking about preventing and treating arthritic diseases."

Jay and his colleagues believe the study findings represent that paradigm shift. Jay says, "We found that lubricin may prevent the fundamental process that can lead to OA following an ACL injury. It is a promising biologic candidate since it is a replacement for a normally occurring glycoprotein. This is very germane to the health care bill, which supports the creation of new therapeutic biologics." Biologics are important and their development is encouraged because they are very specific and have low toxicity profiles, meaning they are better for patients in terms of better results with fewer complications.

Jay concludes that this and related papers are key to future treatment of joint trauma. "In the peri-injury period following joint trauma, joint surfaces are vulnerable to enhanced wear. This study is pointing us in the right direction, and has shown that this can potentially be mitigated by simply reintroducing the joint's natural lubricant." He continues, "We are confident that further studies will perfect the technology and this will be the way that joints will be treated in the future to prevent OA."

Source: Lifespan