Aaron J. Krych, M.D., studies biological preservation of the knee and hip joints. In the knee, this is highlighted in multiple areas, including meniscus repair and transplantation, articular cartilage restoration, and realignment surgery with osteotomy and ligament reconstruction. In the hip, this includes articular cartilage restoration and surgical treatment of femoroacetabular impingement.
Dr. Krych specifically researches improvements in cartilage allograft through a living donor allograft program, mesenchymal stem cell injection for hip and knee arthritis, meniscus repair, and single-stage cell-based cartilage repair for the knee and hip.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Dr. Krych and colleagues research articular cartilage defects after ACL injury. They are currently using quantitative MRI to follow the natural history of bone bruises and articular cartilage damage sustained at the time of ACL injury, and they have also been able to determine that ACL reconstruction is effective in preventing articular cartilage injury, meniscus tear and the development of symptomatic osteoarthritis.
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- Meniscus injuries. Once the meniscus is injured, surgical repair is critical to maintain its function and the overall homeostasis of the knee environment. Dr. Krych determined through clinical studies that mensicus repair is more successful at the time of ACL reconstruction, and he is currently studying strategies to improve healing rates as well as develop meniscus regneration using stem cells.
- Cartilage restoration and transplantation. Dr. Krych's goals are to improve cartilage allograft through a living donor allograft program, as well as to develop a single-stage cell-based cartilage repair for the knee and hip. He and his colleagues are currently conducting FDA phase I trials at Mayo Clinic, and are also part of a multicenter collaboration to study osteochondritis dissecans.
- Hip labral tears and treatment of femoroacetabular impingement. Dr. Krych's research group is also focused on the use of adult stem cell therapies for applications in regenerative medicine. They have carried out several studies in collaboration with the Human Cellular Therapy Laboratory at Mayo Clinic and are currently conducting FDA phase I trials.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Krych's hope is that through his research, patients of all activity levels and ages can be treated with joint preservation strategies to optimize homeostasis of the hip and knee joint and prevent or delay joint replacement.
Young athletes with symptomatic articular cartilage defects present a unique challenge to the field of cartilage restoration, as these athletes are determined to return to very high-demand activities. Dr. Krych's research has demonstrated that overall, return to athletic activity is moderate and clearly leaves room for improvement in clinical outcomes. He and his team are developing strategies to optimize outcomes for these individuals.
- Clinical Trial Award for "Mesenchymal Stem Cells-Facilitated Cartilage Recycling for Hip Defect," Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, 2022-2024
- Cum Laude Research Award, International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society, 2018
- Guest editor, Clinical Orthopaedic and Related Research, 2017
- Patellofemoral Research Excellence Award, International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, 2017
- Research Award, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, 2017
- Celso-Ramon Garcia Award for Outstanding Women's Health Research, 2016
- Highest-rated poster, Arthroscopy Association of North America Annual Meeting, 2015