NFL Funding Equine Joint Research

The National Football League Charities through the Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation have just granted another $100,000 toward the ongoing research in articular cartilage healing at Colorado State University.

Dr. Wayne McIlwraith reported that $100,000 was given last year to investigate the early molecular changes (gene expression) associated with healing of full thickness articular cartilage defects in the horse. The project initially assessed the early changes and influence of subchondral micropicking, a technique developed by Dr. Richard Steadman for cartilage healing in human athletes. It was found that more tissue was gained than from conventional debridement techniques.

The latest grant is based on identification of early gene expression for the critical components of cartilage and to facilitate evaluation of the influence of growth factors and cell augmentation to this healing.

An additional $250,000 has also been given by a private donor. "We are excited about the potential for making real progress in an area where the treatment of osteoarthritis in humans and in horses remains frustrating," said Dr. McIlwraith.

About the Author

Tim Brockhoff

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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