Hypertension Drug May Decrease Both Inflammation and Need for Knee Replacement

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Iskandar Tamimi MD, PhD
Hospital Regional Universitario de Málaga
Faculty of Medicine, University of Málaga
Hospital HM
Málaga, Spain

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Knee osteoarthritis is a painful and limitting condition that affects a significant percentage of the world’s population. The treatment of end stage knee osteoarthritis is a undergoing a total knee replacement. This procedure is considered a major surgery and it’s associated with a significant number of complications, such as infections, deep vein thrombosis, residual knee pain, etc,,

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Study Demonstrates Feasibility of Engineering Biomechanical Scaffolds for Cartilage Repair

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Prof. Hongbin Li
Department of Chemistry
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cartilage degeneration and damage are significant health issues, and cartilage repair is a major challenge because cartilage has a limited capacity for self-repair. One of the strategies for cartilage regeneration is to use scaffolds to promote the growth and differentiation of chondrocytes. For this, the scaffolds need to be tough and stiff to meet the requirements of cartilage regeneration. However, it is challenging to engineer highly stiff and tough materials, as stiffness and toughness are often self-conflicting to each other. In this work, we developed a novel strategy to engineer stiff yet tough protein hydrogels whose mechanical properties mimic those of cartilage. Such engineered stiff and tough protein hydrogels were tested as implants to repair osteochondral defect in an animal model.

Study Evaluates Long-Acting Bupivacaine for Pain Relief During Knee Replacement

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Prof. Hemant G. Pandit, DPhil
Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine
Chapel Allerton Hospital, University of Leeds
Leeds, United Kingdom

Prof. Pandit

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study? 

Response:  Knee replacement is highly successful for treating severe arthritis. There are 100,000 people who undergo knee replacement surgery every year in the UK, with numbers set to rise significantly in future. It remains however a painful procedure with nearly half of patients reporting severe pain post-operatively. Currently pain control is provided by injecting a local anaesthetic of bupivacaine hydrochloride around the knee during surgery providing good pain relief for 12 to 24 hours. However, patients typically experienced the worst pain the next morning when they are encouraged to bend their knee and get out of bed. 

Liposomal bupivacaine is a local anaesthetic preparation which can provide sustained release of pain relief medication over a longer period of time (up to 72 hours). The drug is costly and is used in routine clinical practice in the USA with previous studies showing varying results with the use of LB. We therefore (researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Leeds) developed the SPAARK (Study of Peri-Articular Anaesthetic for Replacement of the Knee) Trial, to test whether liposomal bupivacaine would be more effective at managing the pain compared to current treatments in patients undergoing a knee replacement.