AO Trauma NA Fellows Research 2021

See how this year's fellows grant awardees will be contributing to orthopedic science 

We would like to congratulate the eight fellows selected to receive the AO Trauma NA Fellows Research grant. We're grateful for all who applied for this opportunity and we're looking forward to seeing the results of the awardee's studies. 

Learn more about the recipients and their research below. 

Augustine Saiz

Understanding the Mechanical Environment of Fracture Healing in the Human

Dr. Augustine Saiz is a current fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center

In his study, Dr. Saiz will study tibia shaft fractures, as these are common injuries and most are treated with internal fixation. He will assess the interfragmentary fracture motion of these injuries in a real clinical environment using implanted radiographic meters to construct computational models and assess fracture healing. “Fracture care exists at the intersection of art and science” says Dr. Saiz. This generation of more data will be critical to develop improved treatment strategies and implants for fracture care in the future.
Abraham Goch

Does malalignment in operatively treated tibial shaft fractures result in increased reoperation for nonunion?

Dr. Abraham Goch is a current fellow at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

With his study, Dr. Goch hopes to better our understanding of the relationships between postoperative alignment and nonunion. Tibia fractures are common injuries often treated with surgery—much effort is placed on ensuring an “acceptable” alignment in the operating room. However, we do not fully understand the relationship between alignment and non-union, which is what inspired Dr. Goch to do this research. In the future, he hopes to establish whether there is a relationship between postoperative alignment and union for tibial shaft fractures treated with intramedullary nailing.
Christopher Flanagan

Prospective study of the prevalence of peripheral artery disease in at-risk patients undergoing fixation of complex tibial plateau and tibial plafond fractures

Dr. Christopher Flanagan is a current fellow at Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Dr. Flanagan's research hopes to improve outcomes in patients undergoing operative fixation of bicondylar tibial plateau and tibial plafond fractures. Given the high rates of complications associated with these fractures as well as the high rates of unidentified PAD in a subset of this fracture population, Dr. Flanagan feels there is a need for further study on this topic. Dr. Flanagan hopes that the results of this research will lay the groundwork for future studies investigating interventions to improve outcomes in this population. 
Scott Polansky

Comparison of posterior wall acetabulum fracture stabilization methods: A biomechanical study involving a novel plating technique

Dr. Scott Polansky is a current fellow at the University of Mississippi Medical Center

In his study, Dr. Polansky aims to provide orthopedic surgeons with a new plating method that involves providing a wide surface area for the buttress effect to capture the most peripheral fractures. 

Dr. Polansky has had an interest in acetabulum fracture surgery since the beginning of his training, due to the complexity and variability of the fracture pattern. Dr. Polansky believes this novel technique is biomechanically sound and will give surgeons a new tool to deal with difficult posterior wall fractures, improving patient outcomes and decreasing their complications. 

Mark Xu

Long Term reoperation rate following open reduction and internal fixation of talar neck fractures: A population-based minimum 10-year follow-up investigation

Dr. Mark Xu is a current fellow at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Dr. Xu hopes the results of his study will allow surgeons to better counsel patients on the long-term risks regarding talar neck fracture fixation and help identify factors for re-operation. Dr. Xu is inspired to do this type of research because he has seen the significant impact that talar neck fractures complications can have on patients’ lives. He feels as though there is a lack of literature in terms of long-term follow-up studies looking at the impact of this injury and hopes to fill this gap. 
Kendrick Lam

Comparison of Reamer Irrigator Aspirator (RIA) autogenous bone versus bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMC) in the treatment of long bone nonunions – a canine model

Dr. Kendrick Lam is a current fellow at the University of Missouri, Columbia

In his study, Dr. Lam hopes to find out which graft is best suited for the treatment of nonunions. Dr. Lam is inspired to do this type of research with the hopes that using a live, standardized model will alleviate issues of comparability and allow for more definitive conclusions to be made. In the future, Dr. Lam hopes that this work can be translated into a randomized controlled trial. 
Michael Honeycutt

Stability of Large Posterior Column Acetabular Fracture Screw Fixation Versus a Posterior Pelvic Reconstruction Plate: A Biomechanical Study

Dr. Michael Honeycutt is a current fellow at Emory University School of Medicine

In his study, Dr. Honeycutt hopes to establish a standard for improved initial fixation stability of the posterior column and to encourage future study in effective postoperative weight bearing protocols. He hopes this project will help contribute to much needed research on determining optimal fixation strategies for all acetabulum fractures, particularly those that involve the posterior column. Dr. Honeycutt believes that stronger fixation will allow for safer rehabilitation and earlier weight bearing. 
Angels Collins

Chemotherapeutic potential of Bortezomib eluting PMMA-coated intramedullary nails for impending pathologic fracture treatment in multiple myeloma

Dr. Angela Collins is a current fellow at Detroit Medical Center

With her study, Dr. Collins hopes to further prolong lifespans and improve quality of life in this population and necessitate further research in development. While the fixation of impending pathologic fractures is considered palliative, her project will explore how the reduction of tumor burden can improve quality of life, decrease systemic effects from tumor cells, and potentiality increase survival time.

Dr. Collins' posits the introduction of chemotherapeutic agents into the cement could potentially represent a mechanism for targeted drug delivery to active lesions and increase reduction of humor burden. She believes this research may lead to the development of improved strategies for the treatment of osteolytic lesions associated with multiple myeloma. 

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