LUNAR Shoulder Team Earns 2024 Kappa Delta Prize for Rotator Cuff Injury Study

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A Significant Leap in Orthopaedic Research: The 2024 Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughn Award

In an impactful recognition of progress in the field of orthopaedic research, the 2024 Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughn Award has been awarded to the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network (MOON) Shoulder Group. This award, prestigious within the medical community, acknowledges the group’s innovative research pertaining to atraumatic, symptomatic rotator cuff tears, a widespread condition that is not only prevalent with age but also economically challenging.

Challenge to Conventional Treatments

The MOON Shoulder Group’s decade-long study presents a significant shift in the traditional treatment of atraumatic symptomatic rotator cuff tears. The findings reveal that a large majority of patients, over 70%, affected by rotator cuff tears can successfully manage their condition’s symptoms, specifically pain, using just physical therapy (PT). This novel approach contradicts the established preference for surgical intervention, providing a less invasive treatment alternative for many patients.

Establishing an Evidence-Based PT Protocol

Central to the MOON Shoulder Group’s research was the conception of an evidence-based PT protocol. The group’s work, which involved the diligent monitoring of patient outcomes over several years, showed that PT yielded significant improvements for many patients. This study also spotlighted the impact of patient expectations on their treatment choices, reinforcing the necessity of a patient-centric approach in healthcare.

Impacting a Larger Multicenter Randomized Trial

The groundbreaking findings of the MOON Shoulder Group are set to contribute to an extensive multicenter randomized trial funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. With the objective of further probing into the most effective treatment options for rotator cuff injuries, this trial has the potential to inform healthcare decision-making on a worldwide scale.

Recognizing Strides in Orthopaedic Research: The Kappa Delta Awards

The Kappa Delta Awards, established by the Kappa Delta Sorority in 1947, has a long-standing tradition of commemorating remarkable contributions to orthopaedic research. As a leading authority on musculoskeletal health with a community of over 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) remains a dedicated advocate for innovative research of this magnitude.


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