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Groundbreaking ACL Study Motivates KCU Graduate to Continue Research

Student researchers with Matt Daggett, DO

Our findings have changed my clinical decisions as a surgeon and are impacting sports medicine worldwide Matt Daggett, DO

When Kyle Busch graduates from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) on Saturday, May 20, his name will already appear on two major research studies that could impact the health of young athletes everywhere.

As a medical student Busch has been working with Dr. Matt Daggett, KCU alumnus and an orthopedic surgeon, alongside an international team trying to discover why girls involved in pivot-shifting sports suffer injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at a rate far faster than their male counterparts. They partnered with Dr. Camilo Helito of Sau Paulo Brazil and gained unprecedented access to clinical samples.

One of the studies where Busch assisted appeared in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine and discovered that a supportive anterolateral ligament (ALL) is half as thick in females as males. More force going through that supporting ligament leaves girls much more vulnerable to the dreaded ACL tear.

The implications of these findings are important, and an additional study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that Busch and Daggett collaborated on shows a surgical technique that reconstructs the ALL and the ACL. This combined reconstruction was found to reduce the rate of re-injury to the ACL by over half and also increase an athlete’s chance of returning to play compared to traditional ACL reconstruction alone.

“It’s been a fun, dynamic project to be part of,” said Busch. “We’re not only helping young athletes return to play, we are giving hope to adults who would like to return to a sport they…

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