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Title: Re-examining ACL Reconstruction: A call for Standardization in the Fight against Osteoarthritis
Authors: Goodwin, Jeremy
Advisors: Schwarzbauer, Jean
Department: Molecular Biology
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an essential component of the knee joint, necessary for the proper function and stability of one of the most used joints in our body. A tear of the ACL is a very common injury that immediately causes extreme pain, swelling and immobilization. Unlike most other ligaments, the ACL is unable to heal itself using natural wound repair processes due to a lack of vasculature inside the knee joint where the ACL is located. This leads to a long and arduous recovery process that involves reconstruction of the ligament through surgery and a lengthy therapy regimen. Currently, there is no gold standard for ACL reconstruction and there are a large number of options available to surgeons that involve different graft materials and operative techniques. The major concern with ACL reconstruction is that it drastically increases the prevalence of a degenerative joint condition called osteoarthritis (OA) compared to the normal population. In an attempt to reduce these rates, new operative techniques have been tried and this has led to a diverse but separated group of researchers attempting to solve the same problem. To go along with the large number of surgeries, recent biological research has shown that one of a number of molecular treatments could be used during surgery to accelerate the wound healing at the site of graft insertion. This is a very promising development, however it has not been implemented to its full potential as of yet. I believe that a more focused approach towards improving ACL reconstruction, involving a standardization of one protocol that includes the best graft, operative technique and molecular treatment could lead to a reduction in rates of OA and other complications. This standardization, along with an implementation strategy, is discussed in detail in the contents of this thesis.
Extent: 77 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biology, 1954-2020

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