Understanding what causes common hand conditions

Disease - Osteoarthritis, other surgical techniques

Lead applicant - Miss Jennifer Lane

Organisation - University of Oxford

Type of grant - Clinical Research Fellowship

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £240,397.85

Start date - 4 December 2017

Reference - 21605

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This research project aims to improve understanding of the causes of hand osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, two common causes of hand pain and numbness.

Why is this research important?

Arthritis and other disorders of the hand and wrist cause significant pain and can interfere with daily life and work. This research project aims to better understand the causes of hand osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where pressure on the nerves at the wrist causes pain and numbness in the hand. Currently, there is limited knowledge about how lifestyle and health behavioural factors such as smoking and obesity affect the risk of developing these conditions. Many previous studies have either been too small or have looked only at specialised groups of people.

This project will use both NHS and previous research information to study trends in disease and methods of treatment at a national level. It will also compare this to other countries. Two research studies, UK Biobank and Million Women's Study, will also be used to study over 1.8 million people to look for variations in factors such as lifestyle and occupation, medications and treatments to determine how best to improve NHS services and prevent disease.

How will the findings benefit patients?

A greater understanding of how lifestyle and health behavioural factors impact these conditions will help to identify patients who are likely to develop more aggressive disease, therefore reducing the number of people developing severe arthritis and needing hand surgery. Additionally, this study will provide information for future clinical trials to identify new and more effective treatments.