SURF

Ellison Chen

Evaluation of Post ACL Injured Knees

Injuries to the ACL are very common in the young and active population, and this can often lead to posttraumatic osteoarthritis (OA), sometimes as early as in their third decade of life. Like idiopathic OA seen in older individuals, posttraumatic OA causes pain, impaired function, and overall decreased quality of life, but occurs at a much younger age after injury. ACL injuries are commonly treated with surgical reconstruction of the ligament, replacing the torn ACL with a graft. However, surgical reconstruction does not perfectly correct for tibiofemoral joint kinematics. Moreover, these subtle changes in knee kinematics can lead to early joint degeneration overtime. Since the mechanism behind OA development after ACL injuries is poorly understood, there is little development of preventive measures that could help this particular population. The purpose of my project is to correlate biomechanical alterations after ACL injuries and articular cartilage changes to better understand how ACL injuries can lead to OA. This is a translational research study in the field of sports medicine and arthritis that can lead to the development of therapies to treat or delay the onset of post-traumatic OA after ACL injury.

Message to Sponsor

I am an incoming senior majoring in Microbial Biology and hope to enter medical school after graduating from Cal. The opportunities to work with patients and doctors showed me the importance of maintaining good health and warding off destructive illnesses by leading an active life. When I am not doing research, you can find me working out at the RSF, hiking up panoramic hill, or cheering at a Clippers game. My passion for fitness and tremendous respect for athletes fuels my involvement in my research, and I am excited to be part of the endeavor to alleviate some of the repercussions of ACL injury. It's truly an honor to be selected as a Rose Hills Fellow for SURF 2015 and I am very grateful to be given this opportunity to conduct research due to their generosity.
  • Major: Microbial Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: Xiaojuan Li, Radiology and Biomedical Imaging (UCSF)