Sports Medicine Research

Clinicians in CHOP’s Sports Medicine and Performance Center are actively involved in more than 30 current research projects and clinical trials.

Our clinicians collaborate with researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute including its Center for Applied Genomics at CHOP, one of the world's largest genetics research programs and the only center at a pediatric hospital to have large-scale access to state-of-the-art throughput genotyping technology. They also collaborate with the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, world-renowned for its interdisciplinary approach to identifying injury mechanism and innovative, evidence-based solutions in product design, education, and legislative and regulatory policy.

Our clinical research focuses on evaluating operative and non-operative treatment in sports and medicine. With research we hope to gain a better understanding of what causes specific conditions and how best to treat each.

Our current areas of research include:

General sports

Multicenter sports medicine outcomes studies including:

  • Outcomes and efficacy of multi-modal anesthesia use in children
  • Multi-center ACL Revision Study (MARS):
    • JUPITOOR (Juvenile Pediatric Intercenter Treatment of Osteochondritis dissecans and Osteoarthritis Research), also known as the OCD Study Group of North America
    • ROCK (Research in OsteoChondritis of the Knee)

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

  • ACL injury prevention program
  • ACL recovery
  • All-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction: ideal placement of the femoral tunnel
  • Bilateral ACL tears in children and adolescents
  • Correlation between isokinetic strength testing and functional testing in adolescent athletes following ACL reconstruction
  • Degeneration of the knee joint in skeletally immature patients diagnosed with a tear of the ACL: is there harm in delay of treatment?
  • Growth plate sparing ACL reconstruction using the all-epiphyseal technique
  • MRI measurements of normal and ACL-torn knees in skeletally immature patients
  • Rehabilitation timeline following all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction
  • Transphyseal versus independent tunnel placement in ACL reconstruction in skeletally immature patients: is it safe to assume we are comparing apples to apples?

Osteochondritis dissecans

  • Healing patterns of osteochondritis dissecans lesions on radiographs
  • Inter/intra-rater reliability in measuring size of osteochondritis dissecans lesions on plain radiographs
  • Osteochondritis dissecans in children
  • Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee: disease, treatment and outcome registry
  • Relationship of osteochondritis dissecans classification to healing and functional outcomes
  • Retro versus trans articular drilling for juvenile osteochondritis dissecans of the knee: a multi-center, randomized controlled study

Upper extremity

  • Medial epicondyle fractures in throwing and other overhead athletes
  • Shoulder instability and dislocations in adolescents: evaluation and treatment
  • Unstable supracondylar humerus fractures: experience with the “suprone” technique
  • Validation and integrated use of a simulated pediatric distal radius fracture reduction model
  • Factors affecting outcome of supracondylar fractures
  • An analysis of T-condylar fractures in children and adolescents 

Lower extremity

  • Intercondylar shelf angle in the normal pediatric knee: what is normal?
  • Results of arthroscopic treatment of discoid meniscus
  • Meniscal tears in pediatric athletes; treatment and outcomes

Radial neck

  • Radial neck fracture outcomes of patients treated at CHOP
  • Radial neck fractures in children


  • Management of pediatric concussion through standardized practice models and leveraging electronic medical records
  • Characteristics of concussion
  • Development of concussion registry methods
  • Genomic markers for risk of concussion and for prolonged recovery
  • Biomechanics of concussion to identify thresholds for injury-causing impacts across the pediatric age range
  • Multi-center NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance Concussion Study of concussive and repetitive head impacts in NCAA student-athletes, in partnership with multiple departments at the University of Pennsylvania
  • More information about CHOP’s concussion research

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