Medical trial looking at how to treat multiple-ligament knee injuries

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 10:54 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2022 at 10:56 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An injury to the knee can be complex and potentially devastating, especially when you tear multiple ligaments.

“We’ve been treating; we’ve been working closely with our orthopedic surgeons for several years with these athletes,” said Rachel Bradley, Physical Therapist and Sports Program Supervisor with Ochsner Baton Rouge.

Bradley works with people working to achieve victory over their injuries.

But when it comes to multiple ligament injuries in the knee, is it better to delay or start rehab like this right away?

“When we have done rehab in the past, especially with ACLs, we push it early, and we know that’s a valuable way of approaching that repair. But with these multi-ligament injuries, we haven’t found the best answer,” said Bradley.

Knee surgeons across America aren’t sure about the best timing for treating these injuries or when to start physical rehabilitation.

The U.S. Department of Defense chose the Ochsner Sports Medicine Institute - Baton Rouge to participate in the surgical timing and rehabilitation, or STaR, medical trial.

“We’re looking at the timing of the surgery and timing and the rehabilitation,” said Dr. Jeremy Burnham, Sports Medicine Director with Ochsner Baton Rouge. “Traditionally, we delayed rehab and delayed surgery for a certain amount of time to let the tissue calm down.”

Burnham with Ochsner said the goal is to help people who have these multiple-ligament knee injuries. Something he sees a lot of in Baton Rouge.

“I really think it benefits the community as a whole,” said Burnham. “This is an injury pattern that can occur in military service members, and so this study is actually a department of defense study but also in athletes. We have a huge athlete community.”

“I think the STaR trial is really going to answer that question for us because if you were to pull a bunch of different therapists into a room and ask them what the best approach is for these severe, devastating injuries to the knee, the answers would be very different,” said Bradley.

Bradley and Burham say if they can figure this out, they will have the best outcome for patients. They are hoping for less time away from duty, work, or sports.

Referring physicians and potential candidates for the STaR trial can learn more by calling (225) 761-5895 or visiting the Ochsner Sports Medicine Institute’s website.

To schedule an appointment with any Ochsner Baton Rouge physician, call (225) 761-5200, or visit to schedule online. Online appointments are also available through the MyOchsner patient portal.

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