I am a medical imaging scientist and epidemiologist. Using this unique combination of skills, I study bones, muscles, joints, and fat in the aging population with particular focus on osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and the interaction of these diseases.
Osteoarthritis affects over 10% of Canadians over age 15, resulting in disability, and some necessitating joint replacement. Among those diagnosed with arthritis, osteoarthritis alone accounts for 37%, within which 29% have knee osteoarthritis. Although knee osteoarthritis is often considered a single disease, there are multiple phenotypes and each are associated with differing risk factors.
Osteoporosis is a silent thief – 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 5 men have osteoporosis but many do not know until they have fractured a bone or when screened with a bone density test. Though, even with a normal bone density scan, many still sustain fractures. More recently, we have been able to quantify bone microarchitecture in greater detail, information which may further improve fracture risk prediction.
A subset of individuals with knee osteoarthritis has weakened bones or a higher bone turnover. By applying bone imaging techniques to osteoarthritis, we could better understand the disease process in this sub-group, and could identify interventions that prevent disease progression or reverse early damage.
Our research projects are focused on:
- Understanding the disease process for specific knee osteoarthritis phenotypes: a) in those with knee osteoarthritis and altered bone quality or bone turnover; and b) in those with metabolism-related knee osteoarthritis
- Exploring treatment of knee osteoarthritis in those with impaired bone quality using antiresorptive therapies
- Determining imaging-based predictors of success in knee arthroscopic surgeries
- Innovating novel imaging techniques to discover more pain-sensitive measures
- Generating population-based references to enable individual-based diagnostic evaluation for knee osteoarthritis