CENTER FOR OSTEONECROSIS RESEARCH & EDUCATION

OSTEONECROSIS

The Problem

Osteonecrosis is a disease of bone which ultimately leads to collapse of the articulating joints such as the hip joint. Osteonecrosis is estimated to afflict 10,000 to 20,000 new patients each year in the United States alone. It primarily afflicts individuals during their Productive' years, i.e., 20s, 30s, and 40s. The bony destruction which occurs usually necessitates that total joint arthroplasty be performed. However, the percentage of good to excellent results for hip replacement is not as high in patients with Osteonecrosis as it is for other patient populations. Controversy surrounds the choice of methods of diagnosis and treatment of osteonecrosis. This in part reflects the needs for larger clinical studies and additional basic laboratory research.

The Need

A major need in the study of the causes, progression, and potential treatment of Osteonecrosis is the collection of information pertaining to large numbers of patients. There is no single medical practice or institution which contains enough patients to definitively answer all of the clinically relevant questions pertaining to this disease. As a consequence of this, funding of research projects in this area is limited if not nonexistent. Coordinated studies conducted at multiple medical centers are needed.

The Solution

In August of 1995, an internationally-renowned group of twenty physicians met in Baltimore to discuss potential collaboration on projects relating to osteonecrosis. The key topics focused on describing the current state of the art pertaining to the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and medical and surgical treatment of osteonecrosis. The primary conclusion from this meeting was that multi-center studies are needed in order to answer the questions currently facing patients with osteonecrosis. All of the attendees agreed to participate in future multi-center studies. Coordination of these studies would be accomplished through The Center for Osteonecrosis Research and Education.

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Maintained by Debi Ross