Joint Transplantation Program

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					Joint Transplantation Program
Your Gift and the
Joint Transplantation Program
Thank you!
Through your generous support, the Joint Transplantation Program
is moving towards a promising future. The focus continues to be
on improving bone and joint health care through innovative
research projects, and translating the resulting knowledge to
clinical applications that will benefit all Albertans. In appreciation,
we are pleased to provide you with an update on the
program’s progress.

McCaig Institute
for Bone and
Joint Health
Joint Transplantation Program
Last year we reported on the first fresh
                                           Photo (Left to Right):
bulk osteochondral allograft procedure     Carol Hutchison, MD, MEd, FRCSC,
performed in November 2006 by              Associate Professor,
                                           Division of Orthopaedic Surgery,
Dr. Carol Hutchison. The surgery was
                                           University of Calgary
extremely successful. The patient,
Eltoff Abdalla, continues to enjoy         Dr. Norman S. Schachar, MD, FRCSC
significant improvements in her quality    Professor,
                                           Division of Orthopaedic Surgery,
of life. This was happily evident when,    University of Calgary
in April 2008 she comfortably walked
down the aisle at her wedding.

The McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint
Health / Joint Transplantation
Program continues to spearhead
and implement advancements in
musculoskeletal health, including the      “ Our program has the potential to change the course of
aforementioned knee transplant surgery.      treatment for many patients with joint injury, to prevent or at
                                              least delay the need for a total joint replacement –
The success of the program is due
largely to the unique cooperative            setting a new standard of treatment in Orthopaedics
partnerships between scientists,             for years to come.”
clinicians, the Calgary Heath Region
                                             C aro l H uTCH I so n , M D, M E d, FrCsC
and the Southern Alberta
                                             Associate Professor
Tissue Program.
                                             Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
                                             University of Calgary
Treatment options
Currently, the Joint Transplantation
Program offers treatment options
for young patients with two types
of knee injuries: traumatic bone and
cartilage joint defects and isolated                                                          “ Biological treatment
damage to the articular cartilage.                                                              options are the future
                                                                                                of Orthopaedics.”
Two types of procedures are available
to treat these injuries: fresh bulk                                                             sCoT T TI M M E r M an , M D, FrCsC
osteochondral allografts                                                                        Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
                                                                                                University of Calgary
and stored osteochondral dowel
allografts. By utilizing a biological
intervention for joint transplantation,
these new procedures set a new
standard in health care.

Education and                                Scott Timmerman, MD, FRCSC
                                             Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
outreach                                     University of Calgary

Several initiatives have been
taken to inform the medical
                                             In collaboration with the Office of
community that there are now                 Continuing Medical Education at the
two new joint injury treatment               University of Calgary, the Joint                 Demand
options available in Calgary.                Transplantation Program is looking to            As evidenced by the number of current
                                             recruit such experts as Dr. Ross Wilkins,        patients on the waiting list (three [3] for
In March 2007, Drs. Schachar,                                                                 a fresh bulk osteochondral allograft
                                             Co-Medical Director of the Denver
Timmermann, Hutchison and Muldrew                                                             and three [3] for an osteochondral dowel
                                             Institute for Extremities at Risk, to initiate
delivered a presentation at city-wide                                                         allograft), these surgical procedures
                                             a guest lecture series. Dr. Wilkins is an
surgical rounds entitled “Biological                                                          are in demand.
                                             internationally recognized expert on
Solutions in Joint Re-construction:
                                             Limb Preservation, Bone and Soft Tissue
Bone and Cartilage Transplantation”.                                                          It is anticipated that the need for these
                                             Tumors, and Bone Transplantation.
A letter was also mailed out to all                                                           types of surgeries will increase as
                                             Feedback on the education and outreach
Orthopaedic Surgeons in southern                                                              orthopaedic surgeons and sports
                                             programs has been very positive. The
Alberta to notify them of the availability                                                    medicine physicians throughout southern
                                             medical community has embraced the
of these procedures. Formal, interactive                                                      Alberta become more aware that these
                                             goals of the Joint Transplantation
presentations have been developed                                                             biological treatments are now an
                                             Program and thus it will continue to
and will be delivered by members of                                                           option for appropriate patients.
                                             expand in the future.
the Joint Transplantation Program
Working Group to Orthopaedic
                                             In addition, articles related to the
Surgeons in Red Deer, Medicine Hat,
                                             Joint Transplantation Program, written
Lethbridge and Banff in the coming year.
                                             by working group members, have
                                             recently been published in IMPACT
                                             Magazine and the Journal of Cell
                                             Preservation Technology.
All the short-term goals from
                                               Basic research projects will                  For more information on the
the last update have been                                                                    Joint Transplantation Program,
achieved.                                      continue to focus on developing               please contact:

The restructuring of the Southern Alberta      effective ways to extend the                  Sue Hunter, MSc
Tissue Program in the Calgary Health           storage times for banking
                                                                                             Joint Transplantation Program
Region has directly impacted the ability       osteochondral tissues.                        403. 220. 3119
to acquire the donor tissues needed to                                             
perform more transplants. As a result,         Researcher Ken Muldrew, along with his
the time line for achieving the mid-range      colleagues in Edmonton, is close to
                                               identifying techniques to freeze cartilage    For more information on reach!,
goals has been re-evaluated and the                                                          please contact:
system is now fully operative. Once            for transplantation. This would be
                                               revolutionary because it will eliminate       Val Duggan
suitable donor tissue becomes available,
                                                                                             Director, Donor Stewardship, Reach!
the Joint Transplantation Program looks        the risk of disease transmission (currently
forward to the next fresh bulk                 1 in 119,000) and allow more time for
osteochondral allograft, as well as the        scheduling surgeries, particularly for
first hypothermically stored osteochondral     patients from rural areas.
dowel transplant that will be performed                                                      For more information on the
by Dr. Scott Timmermann.                       In the next few months collaborations
                                                                                             alberta Bone & Joint Health Institute,
                                               will be initiated with colleagues in          please contact:
The long-term goals remain unchanged           Radiology to investigate the use of T2
                                                                                             Judy Crawford
from the last report and the program is        mapping and 3D GRE techniques with
                                                                                             403. 220.4554
moving forward with enthusiasm.                magnetic resonance imaging to develop
                                               improved objective outcome measures 
Increased communication and education          for monitoring the success of grafts,
are top priorities, and plans are well under   post-operatively.
way. These efforts should lead to the
identification of additional appropriate       To fund the purchase of these
patients and awareness of the need for         diagnostic tools, applications will be
suitable donor tissue procurement.             submitted for both an equipment
                                               grant from Alberta Health and
We have purchased a new refrigerator           Wellness and a research infrastructure
for hypothermically storing media and          grant from the Alberta Science and
osteochondral tissues for up to a month        Research Investment Program (ASRIP).
prior to transplantation. The Program has
also been working closely with the
Southern Alberta Tissue Program (SATP)
to coordinate data loggers and software
for monitoring temperatures of all
fridges and freezers in which donor
tissues are stored throughout the
Calgary Health Region.