I’m Dr. Christian Lattermann and I am the face of arthritis research.
The biggest challenge I’m facing as a clinician and researcher is to understand a disease and evaluate new and established treatment options objectively from the physician’s as well as the patient’s perspectives. Only if a new treatment for a disease, such as arthritis, is effective from both a health care provider’s perspective and from the patient’s experience is it likely to be successful in the long run.
As team physician of several Division 1 athletic teams, I see a lot of young patients who suffer severe joint injuries at a young age. That’s one of the reasons why my particular research interest is in posttraumatic osteoarthritis (OA) in young patients after knee ligament injuries. Even though we can restore function to these injured joints with today’s techniques, many of these athletes will develop posttraumatic OA. In order to evaluate established and novel treatment options, rigorous clinical studies are necessary. These studies, or “trials,” are pivotal to advancing health care for chronic diseases like OA.
The Arthritis Foundation is helping me conduct a trial that seeks to characterize biomarkers from blood, joint fluid and urine in order to determine which of the young adults who suffered knee ligament damage will have a higher risk for developing posttraumatic OA. If this research proves to be successful, we’ll be able to identify individuals at highest risk for posttraumatic OA many years before it happens. This could allow us to counsel those patients and work toward early prevention of the onset of arthritis at a very young age.
The Arthritis Foundation is a leader in the quest to develop novel, effective and patient-relevant therapies for the treatment of OA. Neither my personal research endeavors nor the national advancement of research in OA would be possible without the Foundation’s support.
Christian Lattermann, MD
Vice Chairman for Orthopaedic ResearchAssociate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
Director, Center for Cartilage Repair and Restoration
University of Kentucky Medical Center