IMPAKT – HiP: Preventing Hip Pain

Principal Investigator: John Esdaile, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FCAHS, ARC Scientific Director, Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia


Why do this research?

There has been a long debate whether certain types of physical activity cause hip osteoarthritis (OA). OA occurs when the cartilage (the gristle that lines the ends of the bone) is damaged. OA is the most common form of hip arthritis and responsible for more than 90% of hip replacements (more than 20,000 hip replacements are done per year in Canada). Recently, subtle deformities of the hip have been linked to hip OA. It is believed that certain types of physical activity such as hockey, soccer and bicycling combined with the deformity causes damage to the hip. The goal of this CIHR team is to show how physical activity while interacting with one or more subtle deformities can cause cartilage damage and eventually OA. By determining the frequency of the deformities in the population, compare the deformity in groups thought to have a lower frequency (Chinese) or higher frequency (Indigenous Peoples) of OA compared to Caucasians and see if physical activity over one’s lifetime is important. Other aspects of this research program include the opportunity to:

  1. See how the physical motion and the deformity combine to damage cartilage using Canada’s only magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine that allows one to see the cartilage standing up and with movement.
  2. New techniques that show changes in the cartilage even though it appears normal on a regular MRI.
  3. Get the results out to Canadians better than has ever been done before.

This question will be addressed by a collaborative team of researchers from four medical specialties (orthopaedics, rheumatology, physiotherapy, radiology), six research disciplines (basic and clinical sciences, population health, epidemiology, biostatistics, health services research and knowledge translation), as well as stakeholders from the arthritis community. This research program will generate the new knowledge needed for major breakthroughs in the prevention, detection and treatment of hip OA. Please visit the IMPAKT-HiP webpage for more information.

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