PS185,000 RESEARCH BOOST; City Doctor Gets Funding to Tackle Arthritis

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Byline: Warren Manger HEALTH REPORTER

A COVENTRY doctor has been given charity funding to lead new research to prevent osteoarthritis after knee injuries. Specialist registrar Nicholas Smith will investigate whether a transplant to replace the "shock absorber" in the knee can reduce the risk of arthritis for some patients.

He has been given PS185,000 by Arthritis Research UK to carry out the project.

Mr Smith said: "The meniscus acts as a shock absorber for the knee and spreads the load across the weight bearing areas.

"If you take it out you increase the risk of osteoarthritis, so the idea of putting it back is to decrease the risk."

Meniscal tears in the cartilage are the most common form of knee injury. They are often caused by sport and lead to pain, swelling and locking of the knee.

At the moment surgeons often perform a meniscectomy to trim or remove the torn cartilage, which reduces pain, but increases the long term risk of osteoarthritis.

Those people who show early signs of developing the condition need a second operation, a meniscal transplant.

The operation has been performed by city surgeon Tim Spalding for several years. …