Musculoskeletal Disorders Research Area


NB – Professor Kröger’s presentation “Clinical, translational and epidemiological musculosceletal research” (pdf)


Musculoskeletal diseases are the leading causes of pain and disability, having an enormous impact on individuals, societies and economies. The number of patients with osteoporosis (OP) and osteoarthritis (OA) will increase sharply due to aging of the population. Urgent scientific development in diagnostics and treatment of these diseases is needed to manage successfully the future health challenge.

Musculoskeletal Research Area at UEF (headed by profs. Heikki Kröger and Rami Korhonen) was part of the advanced level strong research areas in the UEF´s research strategy 2015-2020 and continues as Musculoskeletal Diseases Research Community (RC) starting from 2021. There is long and active research collaboration between the orthopaedists and physicists in musculoskeletal research in Kuopio campus.

Musculoskeletal Disorders is a multidisciplinary and translational research area, covering basic and applied research, epidemiology and clinical research. The research area focuses on improving understanding of the pathophysiology of OP and OA, recognizing risk factors for those diseases and developing imaging and modeling tools, thereby improving diagnostics and patient-specific prediction of the disease progression. Innovative methods enable new and cost-effective treatment paths in primary and special health care.

Our musculoskeletal concept will rationalize the diagnostic and treatment chains of musculoskeletal diseases. High risk patients can be identified, valid diagnostics will be conducted at right level, and the diagnostic load is shared optimally between the basic and special health care. Correct individuals will get the effective treatment. The new information will promote the improved health of aging population and will help to update public health guidelines and to make clinical recommendations and individual decisions. We believe this can reduce overall OP and OA related costs in societies.

The Musculoskeletal research area is organized into Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Science and Forestry. The RA is headed by professors and it includes research groups from both faculties .The main research groups in the RA:

1. Kuopio Musculoskeletal Research Unit (KMRU) (Kröger, Sirola, Airaksinen)

2. Biophysics of Bone and Cartilage (BBC) (Korhonen, Töyräs)

Kuopio Musculoskelatal Research Unit (KMRU)

Kuopio Musculoskeletal Research Unit (KMRU) headed by Prof. Heikki Kröger, is a multidisciplinary research organization located at the Kuopio campus. In our interdisciplinary study group work specialists from several departments (orthopedics, gynaecology, internal medicine) and our study nurses have long-term experience in performing large clinical trials.

Our research interests include pathophysiology, genetics, epidemiology, exercise physiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis (and related fractures) and osteoarthritis. KMRU is closely linked with Department of Orthopaedics, Traumatology and Hand Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital. The core of the KMRU is the globally recognized Kuopio OSTPRE Study.

We also offer national and international bone and cartilage research services covering the whole chain from basic research to clinical trials.