Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

Exploring Mechanisms Underpinning the Pathogenesis of Symptomatic Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis 


Hundreds of thousands of anterior cruciate ligament injuries (tear or sprain of one of the strong bands of tissue that helps to connect the thigh bone to the shinbone) and reconstructive surgical procedures are conducted worldwide every year. Alarmingly, cruciate ligament injuries present the highest risk of osteoarthritis development across all types of knee injury, and between 10 and 17 years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, approximately 50% of people experience the early signs of knee osteoarthritis.  

Another common outcome following a serious knee injury is not returning to pre-injury level of physical activity and sport participation. Physical inactivity is considered a risk factor for osteoarthritis, however, research indicates that, after a knee injury, people often do not attain recommended levels of physical activity. Although inactivity is considered a risk factor, little is known about the association between physical activity and joint health following knee injury.  

Aims and Objectives:

This research programme aims to investigate the difficulties people face in engaging in physical activity after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Further, this research seeks to better understand the relationship between physical activity and joint health in those at highest risk of developing knee osteoarthritis after injury. 


Morgan K, Cowburn J, Farrow M, Carter J, Cazzola D, Walhin JP, McKay C. Understanding the role of physical activity on the pathway from intra-articular knee injury to post-traumatic osteoarthritis disease in young people: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. 3 March 2023.

Work Package Life Course Impact: Transform
Objective   2.3
Lead Karl Morgan
Investigators Dr Carly McKay, Dr Jean-Philippe Walhin 
Institution University of Bath


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