LiveActive with Rush – Advancing Joint Restoration Research

As part of the mission of the Division of Sports Medicine, Section of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, and the Rush Cartilage Restoration Center, orthopedic surgeons at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush are committed to providing patients with the most complete range of contemporary treatment options, including the latest minimally invasive procedures. In its 17th year under the direction of Dr. Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA, we have collected data and reported on more than 1,000 transplants and cartilage repair procedures. These publications and the rehabilitation protocols are available in the Resource Library.


Cartilage Restoration Center Research Team
Back row (L to R) ? Markus Wimmer, PhD; Adam Yanke, MD; Front row: (L to R) ? Kavita Ahuja; Vincent Wang, PhD; Brian Cole, MD, MBA; Elizabeth Shewman, PhD; Susan Chubinskaya, PhD.

The Importance of Additional Funding

Currently, in Rush’s Cartilage Restoration Center, a common procedure is for physicians to surgically insert a plug of cadaver cartilage and bone into the joint of a patient with damaged cartilage with the hope that it heals to the surrounding bones. The fact that the procedure is somewhat invasive and the implant is clinically effective in only 75 to 85 percent of the patients has prompted the need to develop better ways to treat such injuries.

Dr. Brian Cole is also at the forefront of autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), a procedure where cartilage is taken from a non-load-bearing part of the patient’s own body and is stimulated to grow new cartilage cells in a laboratory. In a second surgery, the patient’s own cartilage is inserted into the injured area. This procedure is not always successful either, and can only be used in patients whose cartilage damage is minimal. The most common complication is the failure of implanted cells to integrate and possibly, the need for additional surgery to remove scar tissue in the joint.

There are several approaches that the team is well positioned to develop by nature of their multidisciplinary knowledge. Due to a decrease in extramural funding opportunities and more competition for government funding, private philanthropy is necessary to support studies that develop?new?treatment protocols.

Your donations to the LiveActive Fund will help generate the much needed funding to advance orthopedic research, education and create awareness for alternative treatments, therapies and training to allow people to resume an active lifestyle. To date, fundraising has largely been used to investigate improvements and alternatives to existing technologies. Several projects are currently slated that are in dire need of additional funding to facilitate their completion.

Net Proceeds from Sports Medicine Weekly are Donated for the Advancement of Joint Restoration Research at Rush – Amount Donated to date: $109,343

Thank you for your support.