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Brian Pietrosimone, PhD, and Jeff Spang, MD, received a two-year, $500,000 grant from the Arthritis Foundation to study biomechanical changes following ACL injuries and that influence post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Brian Pietrosimone, PhD, associate professor of exercise and sport science in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences, and Jeff Spang, MD, associate professor of orthopaedics at the UNC School of Medicine, are leading an interdisciplinary research team at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Exercise and Sport Science, Orthopaedics, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Physical Therapy), focused on understanding the role of biomechanics in the development of osteoarthritis after a traumatic knee injury.

This is an important area of study, because younger, physically active individuals who experience a knee injury are at greater risk of developing knee osteoarthritis early in life.

The research conducted by Drs. Pietrosimone and Spang is focused on providing a better understanding of how changes in joint movements following knee injuries during activities like walking, running, and jumping influence the subsequent development of osteoarthritis.

The research team at UNC will join the Arthritis Foundation’s Clinical Trials Network, which is comprised of leading research programs from across the country, that are collaborating to accelerate the development of new treatments to prevent the development of osteoarthritis following different types of knee injuries.

The study at UNC seeks to understand how altered muscle function, walking biomechanics, and physical activity impact early changes in knee cartilage during the first 12 months following Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction.

Following completion of the study, the research team will be better positioned to employ targeted treatments to correct harmful biomechanical and behavioral changes following knee injury to prevent osteoarthritis onset.

You can view more information related to this line of research by watching this video.

In addition, you may wish to visit the Arthritis Foundation’s clinical trials network page.