Exciting news from our FRESKO (Feasibility of Recruiting an Early Scottish Knee Osteoarthritis cohort) study, where we have recruited our first participant to Stage III of the project.
FRESKO is a feasibility study intended to test the methods and acceptability of a future larger study seeking to establish a cohort of people with early knee osteoarthritis (OA), in order to come up with more effective ways to help with diagnosis and management of the condition. Prior to this stage would-be participants were asked to fill out a short health questionnaire by their GP (Stage I), followed by undergoing an x-ray and completing a further questionnaire with our clinical team at our Foresterhill campus in Aberdeen (Stage II).
Stage III involves comparing standard MRI imaging with Fast Field Cycling (FFC) MRI, a brand new technique developed here in Aberdeen by Professor David Lurie and his team. The benefit of this imaging technique is that it can detect OA tissue abnormalities at an earlier stage, when they are more likely to be reversible.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the single most common cause of disability in adults in the UK, affecting 800,000 people in Scotland alone, and with associated costs to the NHS of an estimated 1-2.5% of the UK’s GDP. The knee is a frequent site of the disease, with over 7000 knee replacement operations carried out in Scotland annually, and disabling knee OA affects 1 in 10 in the UK. Current treatment options are limited to symptom relief and prosthetic joint replacement in end-stage disease. Identifying the early phases of OA will allow targeting of individuals with secondary prevention and would also allow treatments to be offered that aim to modify tissue structure to enable lifelong maintenance of joint functionality, thereby preventing further damage.