“Orthopaedic Nobel Prize” Awarded to Vail Knee Surgeon Dr. Robert LaPrade for Research on Treatments for Posterolateral Knee Injuries

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The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation honored Dr. LaPrade of The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado with the Prestigious 2013 OREF Clinical Research Award for his studies on treatments for posterolateral knee injuries. This research is a vital resource for physicians treating patients with PLC injuries, especially athletes who wish to remain competitive in their sport.

Dr. Robert LaPrade, Vail Knee Surgeon

“This award validates our research strategy for developing improved diagnostic measures, developing new reconstruction techniques, and validating these reconstructions in patient outcomes studies.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, recently honored Vail knee surgeon, Dr. Robert LaPrade, with the prestigious 2013 OREF Clinical Research Award. Dr. LaPrade, who specializes in sports medicine and complex knee surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, was chosen for this outstanding honor, considered the “Orthopaedic Nobel Prize”, for his submitted paper on the treatment for posterolateral knee injuries. He will be presenting his winning paper, “Improving Outcomes for Posterolateral Knee Injuries”, at the Annual Meetings of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2013.

The posterolateral corner (PLC) of the knee is located on the outside of the knee joint. It functions to stabilize the knee against direct or external forces and can be a complex and devastating injury for athletes, seriously impacting athletic performance. Athletes most affected by this knee injury include soccer players, football players, gymnasts, and basketball players.

Historically, a posterolateral corner of the knee injury is more complex to diagnose and treat surgically than other more common knee injuries. Dr. LaPrade, who serves as the Chief Medical Research Officer for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, and his team of research collaborators have intensely studied PLC diagnostic approaches, surgical techniques, and post-op protocols and tracked patient outcomes related to each over many years.

Dr. LaPrade’s collaborators on this paper include Lars Engebretsen, MD, PHD (University of Oslo, Norway), Steinar Johansen, MD (University of Oslo), Chad Griffith, MD (University of Minnesota), Benjamin Coobs, MD (University of Minnesota) and Andrew Geeslin, MD (Western Michigan University).

“I am very humbled to have been chosen to receive this award. I am also very grateful to my family for their support and to my many colleagues who have been an essential part of my research over the past 15 years,” said Dr. LaPrade.

“This award solidly validates our research strategy of defining the anatomy, developing improved means of diagnosing a problem, redefining the clinically relevant biomechanics, developing improved radiographic diagnostic measures, developing biomechanically validated ligament reconstructions, and then validating these reconstructions in patient outcomes studies.”

In addition to the posterolateral knee for which this award was based, Dr. LaPrade and his team have similar ongoing programs for the medial knee and MCL, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.

For additional resources, see orthopedic research studies.

About Dr. Robert F. LaPrade

Selected for "Best Doctors in America", Dr. Robert F. LaPrade is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and complex knee injuries at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO. He has special expertise in posterolateral knee injuries, PCL tears, revision ACL reconstructions, meniscal transplants, MCL injuries, knee osteotomies, fresh osteoarticular allografts, and other difficult compound injuries. His passion for excellence in the field of orthopaedic medicine has fueled his ongoing research to improve diagnostic tests, surgical techniques and patient outcomes for complex knee injuries. Dr. LaPrade is a member of numerous national and international orthopaedic research committees and is a member of the AAOS, AOSSM, ESSKA, ISKAOS, AANA, and ICRS.

About the OREF Clinical Research Award

The Kappa Delta Award was established by the Kappa Delta Sorority in 1950 to honor high achievements in the field of orthopedic research. In 1994, the Board of Trustees of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) created the OREF Clinical Research Award to stimulate and recognize outstanding orthopaedic clinical research. These awards are considered the highest research award for orthopaedic surgeons and have been called the “Orthopaedic Nobel Prize”. The Awards are chosen by the Research Development Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons from manuscripts which represent a large body of cohesive and highly significant scientific work which reflects years of investigation in orthopaedic surgery. Previous winners of this award read like a “Who’s Who” of high impact orthopaedic clinicians and researchers for whom clinical studies have resulted in numerous scientific breakthroughs and for which significant numbers of patients have benefitted from their research work. These awards are felt to represent researchers who have made most of the leading orthopaedic advancements of the past 60 years.

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