Scripps Clinic Surgeon Given National Research Award for Improving Cartilage Repair

Efforts helped advance procedure that relieves pain, improves function


Efforts helped advance procedure that relieves pain, improves function

Scripps Clinic orthopedic surgeon William Bugbee, MD, was honored today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons by the Kappa Delta Sorority and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation for outstanding clinical research related directly to musculoskeletal disease or injury, with the ultimate goal of advancing patient treatment and care.

Dr. Bugbee received the 2015 Kappa Delta Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award for his team’s 15 years of research on optimizing the process and effectiveness of osteochondral allograft transplantation for cartilage repair. This innovative surgery replaces or repairs lost or damaged cartilage, which can relieve pain, improve joint function and prevent the onset of arthritis.

Innovative cartilage repair

Articular cartilage is the smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints. Healthy joint cartilage makes it easier for the body to move by allowing bones to glide over each other with very little friction. Articular cartilage can be damaged by injury or normal wear and tear. Because cartilage does not heal well, doctors have developed surgical techniques to restore or replace diseased cartilage.

Over several years, Dr. Bugbee conducted a series of basic scientific and clinical studies with the goal of improving the process, indications and outcomes associated with allograft transplantation in cartilage repair: from optimizing the viability and delivery of tissue for surgical use, to improving the understanding of cartilage and bone remodeling following the procedure.

“Our research efforts in the field of osteochondral allograft transplantation have led to innovations in tissue banking, new insights into the biology of osteochondral allografts, improvements in surgical techniques and a better understanding of the clinical indications and outcomes related to this procedure,” said Dr. Bugbee. “As a result of these endeavors, osteochondral allograft transplantation has been widely adopted in the orthopaedic community and has emerged as an important treatment option for patients with articular cartilage injury.”

Orthopedic care and research at Scripps

The Shiley Center for Orthopedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla conducts leading-edge research to bring the latest discoveries and treatment breakthroughs to patients far faster than traditional clinical trials. Access to investigational drug therapies, innovative medical devices and minimally invasive procedures are available to Scripps patients because of the research conducted at SCORE at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla.

Scripps provides comprehensive orthopedics care. This includes services for diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating all musculoskeletal areas of the body: bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, connecting soft tissues and nerves. Musculoskeletal services account for more than 100,000 patient visits at Scripps Clinic annually and more than half of all surgeries performed at Scripps Green Hospital. The need for orthopedic services will only grow in the coming years as the population ages and more people seek ways to maintain an active, mobile lifestyle.

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Kristin Reinhardt

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