Eric Adams

Erik Adams

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of increasing prevalence that is more common in those having physically-demanding jobs.  Agricultural workers fit this category, and the disability resulting from their arthritis can exert economic impact on their agricultural operations. 

Current non-operative treatment options for OA, are mainly effective for mild OA.  Joint replacement, considered a definitive treatment for OA, is appropriate only for severe cases, leaving those with moderate severity disease without adequate treatment options.  This can result in years of disability before receiving a replacement joint.  Based on a more modern understanding of OA, regenerative medicine techniques have shown promise in restoring the integrity of articular cartilage in osteoarthritic joints and thus serve as a viable option for treating OA. 

This pilot study is partnered with MSU Extension and will utilize a community-based participatory research model to ascertain the health concerns of Montana ranchers and farmers, especially regarding osteoarthritis and its impact on their agricultural operations.  Epidemiological data will be collected regarding osteoarthritis, as well as survey data regarding its effects.  Working with a Community Advisory Board and MSU Extension, we will determine future directions of the project drawing from data collected from the community members.

Specific Aims of this developmental project

  1. Establish relationships with agricultural societies and associations and healthcare groups within the state of Montana.
  2. Discuss the prevalence and current treatment strategies for OA with rural physicians in Montana.
  3. Obtain observations and ideas from the above groups regarding the feasibility of proposed interventions.
  4. Establish methods for data collection and follow-up.
  5. Discuss with relevant parties options for long-term provision of regenerative medicine treatment.

Primary Contact

Erik Adams erik.adams@montana.edu