University of South Alabama

The following clinical and experimental research studies are currently ongoing at the USA Center for Human Performance and Joint Restoration:

Ongoing Clinical Studies

1. Clinical Evaluation after Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

This is a prospective ongoing study. All patients who previously have undergone surgery for various procedures are evaluated regarding their function and well-being. Evaluations include questionnaires that are completed by the patient as well as follow-up physical examinations performed by the physician. In addition, in many cases a follow-up MRI will be used to assess the effects of surgery upon the shoulder.

2. Clinical Evaluation after Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

This is a prospective ongoing study. Patients who have undergone specific arthroscopic knee procedures are evaluated regarding their function and well-being. Evaluations include questionnaires that are completed by the patient as well as follow-up physical examinations performed by the physician. In addition, in many cases a follow-up MRI will be used to assess the effects of surgery upon the knee.

3. Clinical Evaluation of Patients Undergoing OATS (Osteoarticular Transplant Surgery)

OATS refers to cartilage transplantation that is performed with either the patient's own cartilage or cartilage from an allograft (donor cartilage). This is a prospective ongoing study. All patients who undergo this surgical procedure are enrolled in the University of South Alabama Sports Medicine/Joint Restoration database. All patients who previously have undergone an OATS procedure are evaluated regarding their function and well-being. Evaluations include questionnaires that are completed by the patient as well as follow-up physical examinations performed by the physician. In addition, in many cases a follow-up MRI will be used to assess the effects of surgery upon the shoulder. If you are a patient who has undergone this procedure and have not been contacted by our staff, please contact us via e-mail or telephone so that we may schedule an office visit to evaluate your progress.

4. The Efficacy of 3 versus 5 Hyalgan Injections in the Knee

Hyalgan is a synthetic joint fluid made from rooster combs which is indicated mild to moderate arthritis. It is administered as a knee injection given once a week for 3-5 weeks. Hyalgan has been shown to provide improved shock absorption, cartilage nutrition, and pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Hyalgan candidates have mild to moderate arthritis with significant knee pain and wish to avoid surgery. The ongoing study involves evaluating patients with either 3 or 5 injections of Hyalgan. Enrolled patients are randomly assigned to 2 groups: 1) 5 weekly injections of Hyalgan or 2) 3 weekly injections of Hyalgan + 2 weekly injections of saline. Both the patient and physician are blinded to which group the patient is assigned. The USA Sports Medicine & Joint Reconstruction doctors hope to determine which injection regimen is superior in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. If you are interested in this study, please e-mail online or contact the Sports Medicine/Joint Restoration Service staff and we will contact you.

5. Ongoing Basic Science Studies

  • The biomechanical evaluation of rotator cuff function after a tear of the rotator cuff tendon
  • The biomechanical evaluation of different surgical procedures to reconstruct the ulnar-collateral ligament of the elbow in throwing athletes
  • The biomechanical evaluation of forces in the tibia and how they are transmitted differently with different types of high tibial osteotomies
  • The evaluation of chondrocyte viability after transplantation within the knee. This study is ongoing and evaluates what percent of cartilage cells are alive after they have been transplanted into the knee as part of our transplantation procedures. This evaluation includes both autograft (the patient's own cartilage) as well as allograft (donor cartilage)
  • The evaluation of nitric oxide and its effect upon chondrocyte (cartilage) viability and mitochondrial DNA
  • The study of ankle instability, measurement parameters with a computer designed device, and associated injury pathologies seen with these injuries
  • The clinical evaluation of short term corticosteroid use in the treatment of sports injuries in athletes. The USA Sports Medicine Service is surveying sports medicine physicians around the country to evaluate how often this medicine is used and whether any side effects have been associated with its use
 

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