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The Knee Injury Cohort @ the Kennedy (KICK) study recruited its 142nd participant this week. Chief investigator Fiona Watt reports that the study has entered its final stages of recruitment – it aims tofollow 150 people with recent knee injuries over 5 years. 

Joint injury is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis, with about 50% of those with knee injuries developing the condition; this can be in their 30s or 40s if they have suffered sporting injuries whilst young. Work in the Kennedy Institute laboratories on the immediate effects of joint tissue injury has identified important markers of this response: the KICK study is testing whether measurement of this ‘joint injury response’ can predict the development of osteoarthritis in humans. The initial findings of the study were recently presented at the OARSI World Congress in Paris.

The KICK study is pioneering electronic collection of follow-up data – participants can simply click on an emailed link which allows them to input their answers to questionnaires directly and securely on to the study database. The study hopes to identify new tests to predict osteoarthritis, and targets for new medical treatments to slow or prevent the condition. It works closely with Andrew Williams, leading UK sports knee surgeon and other researchers in the newly-formed Arthritis Research UK Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis, based at the Kennedy Institute.