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

LaPrade HeadshotThe 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.