The ligaments surrounding the knee joint offer stability by limiting movements. SORI studies two main groups of patients who have suffered ligament injuries.
The first group are patients requiring anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. For this group, we are collaborating with a laboratory at the Queensland University of Technology, and are studying how these patients recover following surgery. We are analysing:
- Urine samples
- Walking patterns (‘gait kinematics’)
- Quantitative and qualitative imaging
- Clinical data
Each one of these gives us insight into potential future methods of predicting surgical success or treatment methods. For example, imaging allows us to measure any change in cartilage structure in these patients.
The second group are patients who have more than one knee ligament repaired, usually as a result of large trauma. Patients who need these “multiple-ligament” reconstructions or repairs are an under-studied area of orthopaedics that presents unique challenges both to researchers and surgeons. Similar to patients with only one ligament injury, we have been performing biomechanical analysis during functional tasks and qualitative and quantitative analysis of changes in knee structure to measure the progress these patients achieve.