Over one million people a year in the United States and Europe alone suffer from meniscal tears. Scientists at the Universities of Liverpool and Bristol have tested a “living bandage” comprised of stem cells to repair such injuries. The difficulty in treating this common sports knee injury is that more than 90% of tears occur in the meniscus’ “white zone” where there is a great lack of blood supply.
Azellon has designed the Cell Bandage which encourages cell growth of the meniscal tissue in order for the tear to repair itself. The prototype was trailed in five patients with white zne meniscal tears. Stem cells which ere harvested in the patient’s bone marrow were grown for two weeks and then delivered into the site of injury. The Cell Bandage was then implanted into the middle of the meniscal tear, and cartilage was sewn around the bandage to seure it in place.
12 months post-op, all five patients had an intact meniscus. 24 months post-op, hree of the five still had success and returned to normal knee function. The other two of the five had removal of the meniscus due to the return of symptoms or a new tear.
Chair of Stem Cell Biology at the University of Liverpool and Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Azellon, Anthony Hollander says, “The Cell Bandage trial results are very encouraging and offer a potential alternative to surgical removal that will repair the damaged tissue and restore full knee function. We are currently developing an enhanced version of the Cell Bandage using donor stem cells, which will reduce the cost of the procedure and remove the need for two operations.”
Professor Ashley Blom, Head of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Bristol commented: “The Cell Bandage offers an exciting potential new treatment option for surgeons that could particularly benefit younger patients and athletes by reducing the likelihood of early onset osteoarthritis after meniscectomy.”
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have found that female high school athletes have a much higher risk of overuse injuries than males of the same age. Overuse injuries include stress fractures, tendonitis, and joint pain. These injuries occur when athletes repeatedly perform the same motion. Overuse injuries account for half of all athletic injuries and are more prevalent in teens ages 13-17.
Dr. Thomas Best studied 3,000 male and female injury cases across a seven year period. The cases came from twenty high school sports which included lacrosse, gymnastics, soccer, and volleyball. He and his team found that girls track reported the highest rate of overuse injuries (3.82). Girls field hockey (2.93) and girls lacrosse (2.73) followed. Boys overuse injuries were most prominent in swimming and diving (1.3).
“These young people spend more time playing sports both in competition and in practice. So, there’s a correlation there between the amount of time that they’re playing and the increased incidence of injuries,” said Best.
According to Best, some high school athletes spend upwards of 18 hours a week participating in athletics. Many even participate in more than one sport at a time.
The lower leg is generally the most common site of overuse injuries. The knee and the shoulder follow next. Best recommends that teen athletes vary their movement. This can be accomplished by playing more than one sport. He also advises his patients to focus on rest and proper nutrition.
“During this point of their lives, this is when girls are developing bones at the greatest rate,” Best said. “It’s incredibly important that they’re getting the proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D.”
Congratulations to two excellent undergraduate research assistants, Kristen Looman and Olivia DiCarlantonio, for their recent graduation! Kristen received her B.S. in Biology and will be working as an Anesthesia Technician at the Wexner Medical Center as she prepares for medical school. Olivia graduated with a B.S. in Public Health and is pursuing a career in medical device sales.
Rates and rate ratios of ankle sprains in youth, high school, and college football, 2012-2014 seasons. *Statistically significant. LLC = lateral ligament complex.
Dan Clifton, a member of the MOVES research laboratory and a doctoral student in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences program at The Ohio State University, recently published a study examining epidemiological patterns of ankle sprains in youth, high school and college football players. The study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, performed in collaboration with the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc. and University of Virginia, compared rates and patterns of ankle sprains between all three competition levels. Results indicate that injury rates are greater among higher competition levels and that lateral ankle sprains are the most common type of sprain at all levels of participation. Additionally, college football has the greatest proportion of ankle sprains that are severe while youth football has the greatest proportion of ankle sprains that are recurrent. Differences between competition levels highlight the need for level-specific policies and prevention strategies to help reduce the incidence of ankle sprains across age groups.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, members from The Ohio State University MOVES research lab under the direction of Dr. James Onate and led by School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral student graduate Dr. Dustin Grooms, who is an assistant professor at Ohio University, found that brain activation for knee flexion-extension motion may be altered following ACL reconstruction (ACLR). The study discusses results from 15 participants who had undergone ACLR and 15 matched healthy controls. Functional MRI (fMRI) data were obtained for all participants during a knee motor task consisting of repeated cycles of knee flexion and extension. Results indicate that the brain fundamentally changes how it processes information from an injured knee and how those with ACLR may rely more on visual systems than movement spatial awareness.
After 3 years of testing at high schools across the country, data collections for the FPPE Project have come to an end. During this time, over 6,000 athletes completed functional testing consisting of an ankle dorsiflexion range of motion, a single leg anterior reach (SLAR), a single leg hop for distance (SLHOP), and a drop vertical jump landing evaluation (iLESS). Results of this testing will provide clinicians with normative functional performance data as well as injury risk prediction capabilities of a functional pre-participation evaluation.