Freedom of Movement
For a Lifetime

The Freedom of Movement Fund

 

Make a difference by supporting innovative research that will drive the next generation of patient care in our laboratories and clinics.

 

Scientists, physicians, and research staff at the University of Wisconsin Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation are constantly exploring new ways to treat orthopedic conditions that prevent people of all ages from living an active life.

The Freedom of Movement Fund supports basic science, clinical, and translational research efforts in many areas. Right now, our research priorities focus on stem cell and regenerative medicine, sports-related concussion management and prevention, the effects of sports specificity on injury rate, biomechanical analysis, and osteoporosis prevention.

The descriptions below provide a glimpse into each area.

Research Focus Areas
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Learn about the studies we’ve funded so far.

2022
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LIGAMENT DYSFUNCTION IN THE OSTEOARTHRITIC KNEE
“Determination of Mechanical and Sensory Dysfunction of Ligaments in the Osteoarthritic Knee”
  

Principal Investigator:
Joshua D. Roth, PhD

 
Co-Investigators:
Brian Walczak, DO, PhD
Lesley Arant, MS

 

Funding Amount: $49,539.00

Study Background

Despite acknowledgment that osteoarthritis impacts the entire knee, much of the research on osteoarthritic (OA) changes in the tissues of the knee has focused on the articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Because ligaments play a critical role in maintaining knee health, disruptions in their function likely drive poor knee mechanics that accelerate the degradation of other joint tissues.

Our expected outcome is to establish that OA-induced ligament dysfunction progresses with OA disease progression. If this is demonstrated, personalized treatments accounting for this ligament dysfunction should allow clinicians to restore more normal knee mechanics across OA-severities. In turn, this should slow osteoarthritis progression, creating a more normal mechanical environment for reparative and regenerative treatment.

IMPACTS OF MINDFULNESS TRAINING AFTER ACL INJURY
“The Influence of Mindfulness on Patient-Reported Outcomes and Readiness to Return to Sport Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery”
  
Principal Investigators:
Drew Watson, MD, MSBrian Walczak, DO, PhD

 
Co-Investigators:
M. Alison Brooks, MD, MPH
Richard Davidson, PhD
Claudia Reardon, MD
 

Funding Amount: $48,887.00

Study Background

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries remain an unfortunately common, serious issue among adolescents, with significant long-term impacts on well-being. Despite considerable prior research in this area, ACL reconstruction surgery continues to be complicated by sub-optimal rates of return to sport and significant psychological distress. Athletes report prolonged fear of re-injury, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and other mental health challenges as they work to return to prior level of activity.

The goal of this research is to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness training to improve short-term outcomes following ACL reconstruction, as well as the factors that influence both efficacy and participant compliance.

 

Previously Funded Research
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UNDERSTANDING FACTORS THAT LEAD TO INJURY IN YOUTH RUNNERS
“Evaluating the Impact of Training Volume, Sleep, and Well-Being on Injury Risk in Youth Runners”

Principal Investigator:
Stephanie Kliethermes

Co-investigators:
M. Alison Brooks
Bryan C. Heiderscheit
Mikel R. Joachim
Timothy McGuine

 

Funding Amount: $49,910

Study Background

Youth participation in cross country has increased significantly over the past several years, resulting in parents, coaches, and medical professionals calling for evidence-based guidelines regarding safe running mileage for youth runners. This study will enroll 450 male and female high school cross country runners in nine schools across Wisconsin. It will look to determine the effect of running volume, sleep duration and quality, and stress and fatigue on running-related injuries among high school cross country runners.


COMPLICATIONS AFTER SHOULDER SURGERY
“Efficacy of Blue Light Therapy In Reducing Cutibacterium Acnes Bioburden at the Deltopectoral Interval”

Principal Investigator:
Brian F. Grogan (PI),

Co-Investigators:
Eric J. Cotter
Lisa M. Cotter
Elliot Baker Franczek
Nathan Purman-Buehler
Lisa Arkin

Funding Amount: $24,251
 
Study Background

Surgical site infection can be a devastating complication of shoulder surgery, particularly arthroplasty surgery. It leads to pain, future surgeries, and significant health care costs.

In revision shoulder arthroplasty cases, Cutibacterium acnes has been identified as one of the most common pathogens causing infection. Blue light therapy has been shown to help kill Cutibacterium in other environments.

The goal of this study is to determine the clinical effectiveness of adding blue light therapy to current prophylactic strategies in reducing postoperative infections.

SLOWING OR PREVENTING THE PROGRESSION OF HIP OSTEOARTHRITIS
“Cellular and Molecular Factors Involved in Hip Preservation”


Principal Investigator:
Andrea Spiker

Co-Investigators:
Connie S. Chamberlain
Ray Vanderby

 
  
 
Funding Amount: $49,000
 
Study Background

One of the leading causes of hip osteoarthritis (OA) is femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). FAI occurs when excess bone formation on the femoral neck or acetabulum results in labral injury and cartilage degeneration. The primary goal of this study is to understand how we can slow the progression of hip osteoarthritis normally associated with FAI occurrence, improve post-surgical patient outcomes, and delay symptomatic recurrence.

This research will correlate — for the first time — clinical and biological profiles of FAI with patient- and gender-specific outcomes after hip arthroscopy.

USING REGENERATIVE MEDICINE TO HEAL BONE AFTER TRAUMA OR TUMOR REMOVAL
“Removal mRNA-activated Autologous Scaffolds for the Treatment of Critical-Size Bone Defects”

Principal Investigator:
Chris Doro

Co-Investigators:
Gianluca Fontana
Bill Murphy
Ellen Leiferman

 
 
Funding Amount: $50,000

Study Background

Every year, more than two million bone-grafting procedures are performed worldwide due to trauma or bone loss from tumor removal. Injured bone tissue can regrow and heal, but when there are large areas of bone loss, the chance of regrowth and spontaneous healing is greatly reduced.
 
Dr. Doro and his team are developing and studying a regenerative medicine process that uses a scaffold across a large bone defect that allows bone cells to grow.

REGROWING HUMAN CELLS TO TREAT OSTEOARTHRITIS
“Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis”

Principal Investigator:
Brian Walczak (PI)
Co-investigators:

Wan-Ju Li (PI)
Scott Hetzel
Hongli Jiao
 
 
 
Funding Amount: $43,665

Study Background

Osteoarthritis affects over 32.5 million adults in the United States. Stem cells hold promise for treating degenerative diseases that otherwise cannot be effectively treated by current medical solutions. However, increasing evidence suggests that stem cell properties and their therapeutic outcomes are largely dependent on the donor’s age and physiological condition.

This project aims to determine the effectiveness of reprogrammed mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)—or cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types such as bone, cartilage or muscle—to rejuvenate cells for use as a treatment for osteoarthritis.

 
Explore more opportunities for giving…

In addition to The Freedom of Movement Fund, we have many other areas of need you may want to support. We are ready to work with you to individualize your gift toward your greatest area of interest.
 

LEARN MORE

Questions?


Contact Joe Greene
Program Manager
Outreach and Development

(608) 220-6196

jgreene@uwhealth.org